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I'm about to embark on my first 7mm O gauge railway, this is unashamedly a 'train set' not a model railway.

I'm taking full advantage of the recent Peco development of setback track sections to allow a circle to be laid in a reasonable space.


The plan is for a 13ft x 8ft circuit in my garage, the two sides at will have a station and passing loop to allow at least two trains running at any one time.


Station A will be a simple affair of a twin platform station and passing loop.


Station B will be the main station with a twin platform passing loop, two road goods yard and single road loco shed.


Each station will have its own Signal Box, Box A and Box,B. The set will be fully signalled in line with the correct principles.


Below are plans or the trainset, overall plan and station diagrams.







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Good Evening, I've spent most of the day measuring out the track plan and available space, oh and working out the financial damage ! 

I'm pleased to report that it all fits nicely, well with one or two compromises, and financially its very viable, well getting to the operational/playing trains stage is at least !


The compromises are, after working out the actual 1:1 scale of the plan it came to light that I simply wont have space to have a full complement of signals. I was planning on having Outer Home, Distant, Inner Home, Starter, Advanced Starter etc. With Limit of Shunt and Shunt disks on the Station B side. But I'm going to have to cut back the full size signalling to Starters and Inner Homes and Distant only, I will be retaining the shunt disks and LOS boards though as these are a part of the shunting operations I plan.


I've also knocked out the two back to back turnouts in Station B's goods yard/loco shed road, I've replaced these with a double slip to save space.


From the end of the curve to the start of the platforms at Station B the total distance is 32in, if you total the total radius of the curves and the two turnouts it comes in at 6ft from the board end !!.

Lucky still got circa 5ft straight plain line through the twin platforms, Dapol have been kind enough to advise the length over the buffers of the Terrier tanks (182mm).


What I'm looking for now is a suitable branchline type passenger vehicle for my Terriers to pull, I'm looking at one vehicle passenger trains so it has to be a brake vehicle. Maybe also combining a Milk or Box freight vehicle in a mixed formation.


I'm looking at cutting timber around this time next week, work permitting of course.


The boards are going to be consist of:


X4 End boards each contain half the whole Semi Circle of set track curves.

X4 Side boards each contain Station A and Station B.


The boards wont be permanently attached, the joints being copper clad soldered joints to allow movement in the future.







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Hi There,

Looks like a great project.

One suggestion is to start the passing loops from curved points (or use the curved part of a standard point to continue the curve) to ease the curve-to-straight transitions and extend the loops to allow for longer trains.

(I don't have the O-gauge templates / geometries handy to know exactly which points are available)

Good luck.

Cheers, Steve O.

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Good Evening again,


This afternoon between ferrying the kids between Swimming and Gym I've managed to visit a well know DIY store to continue my design work on my new O Scale Train set.


I've decided to attempt and reduce the overall cost of the project, whilst trying to counter 'Project Creep', this has partially been successful as I've reduced the construction costs by some £90-100 in wood work costs, by using the same timber for the whole stage of the project.

I going to incorporate the back scene board into the overall support frame work, which will give a 60 cm deep back board, to which a 10 cm frame will attach which in turn supports the actual baseboards. Each board (there are eight in total) will bolt to the next to form the circle, the two side boards will sport one set of legs each, the middle joints will be articulated to the next which will reduce the number of legs required.


I don't intend on moving the train set anytime in the short to medium term, but I don't want to spend £100's in not £1000's of pounds on a project which I've got to destroy in the event of a house move. So the whole project is designed to ensure portability for future moves if require. This will extend to the track formation and under board wiring, which will be cut and jointed at the baseboard ends.


As the original quotations for the woodwork stage of the project rocked in at circa £300, there was urgent need to reduce this in order for the project to be viable. The woodwork (at the original price) and the basic track work as planed about would come in circa £700!. There was no way I could justify that kind of money to the 'Finance Director' (My Good Lady Wife) for my 'new toy' considering she has been good enough to sanction the purchase of two weathered Terriers at close to £500.


I was planning on using a 2x1 softwood frame work on all the board with 3x3 softwood legs (16 in total) and with 2x1 softwood bracing, topped with 9mm plywood. However as stated about this total cost was huge, also the well known DIY store wouldn't cut the wood to the required sizes for me.


So I've priced up the woodwork stage as above with 9mm MDF for the whole construction of the boards, but retaining the 3x3 Softwood Legs. I'm aware of the vulnerability of MDA to moister to I'm going to seal all the wood prior to construction with at least two coats wood sealant paint and securely fix and brace each board to ensure warping and deformation doesn't occur. 


The track plan is fixed in as much as the end boards are measured to fit the 42 inch radius of the new PECO set track curves, with a little wiggle room. The track plan on middle boards which will support/accommodate the two stations is flexible as such, but will need to accommodate the basic passing loop and allow access to the freight yard/loco shed. But length of the loop on Station B (main station with the yard etc) will depend how much space I can get out of whats left after the point work is placed to allow access to the loop and yard. Although it needs to be able to take a Terrier (182 mm) and at least two small coaches.


The plan for the yard/loco shed is flexible as I've left enough room (width wise) for maybe another siding, I've planned into a double slip instead of two back to back turnouts to save space.


Station A, which is the other side is again flexible as such but needs to accommodate the passing loop as above. I'm trying to above 'Project Creep' especially in O Scale where turnouts cost upwards £35, however I'd like to include a second small yard at Station A. Somewhere for freight vehicles to go from Station B, but the priority is to actually get the basic's down before any extension work starts.


This might even be that the initial stage is to just have the circle and passing loops in place, the add the yard at Station B at sometime in the future. But we will see how things progress.


I still expect actual physical progress to be mid to late next week so watch this space!






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  • RMweb Gold

MDF boards are going to be heavy. But perhaps not too much of an issue as you are not planning to move them frequently.


Overall, it looks like a lot of fun. Presumably, you are looking at a Col Stephens type light railway with secondhand locos and stock. So no real constraint on what you use for those passenger vehicles. On short radius curves, two four-wheelers might look a lot better than a bogie vehicle. IIRC, Slaters do 4w GW coaches. But if you are  going for a bogie vehicle I would suggest one of the Roxey Mouldings LSW 48' vehicles (might need fettling to go round the corners) or a Lochgorm Highland Railway kit.


For the second station (A), perhaps a second platform is unnecessary with the loop just used to pass a goods train. That should make it easier for you to include a siding or two there. But it also makes the two stations more different which will add to operating interest.


A double-slip seems a bit unlikely at a small rural station. There may be better ways to lay out that yard and gain space.


You could make your loops much longer by putting the turnouts at the end of the curve (as mentioned by Steve O). It may be worth taking a look at other manufacturers' trackage systems for more compact pointwork including Marcway.

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  • RMweb Gold

3x3 is rather chunky for the legs. 2x2 should be plenty strong enough and a worthwhile saving in timber cost. 3x2 CLS (which builders use for studwork) is often even cheaper though than ordinary planed 2x2 and has rounded edges.


But as the layout is not to be moved frequently, probably better to have a length of 2x1 batten plugged to the wall and just 4 legs - or brackets (heavy-duty with a diagonal brace) from the wall at the baseboard joints. Even the batten is optional. You could just leave 10mm of the screw thread out of the wall and sit the layout on them.


And just to throw a curve ball at this stage, why not a "Maurice Deane", terminus-continuous run-fiddleyard set up. That gives much more operational fun. As I recall, the smallest such plan in the Peco planbooks is 7' x 5' for 00 so pretty much equivalent to what you have for 0.


Other plan thought is that you are not making use of the corners which could give you more/longer sidings.

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Good Afternoon,


The timber has been ordered, and it due for delivery tomorrow so construction can finally start !!!!! 

In response to Mr Joseph Pestell, I've decided to run with your idea do away with the second platform at Station A, I'll retain the passing loop but off the non platformed road I will install a turnout for a siding or two. This will allow my freight wagons somewhere to go, from Station B.


I've also visited my local model shop (Lord & Butler, Cardiff) and ordered a Dapol BR Bauxite Pillbox brake van, they're also going to weather it for me, this will go with my two Terriers also ordered from the same shop and weathered.

So all being well by tomorrow evening most if not all the baseboards should be assembled, watch this space..................



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Good and Bad news today I'm afraid, my timber order arrived at 0830hrs this morning. But it was missing four vital boards !!! Que two trips to B&Q to sort the matter out, now I've got wait until Saturday now for the remaining boards to be delivered, before construction can start.

Anyway, to console myself I visited Lord  & Butler in Cardiff dinner time and picked up a half, half circle of PECO O Scale set track to see how big it was. I can confirm the half, half circle is BIG !!!








Half the half circle:



Here's to Saturday, and actually cracking on building the thing! 



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  • 4 weeks later...

Gosh it's been nearly a month since I last updated this thread, which sadly pretty much sums up that project at the moment.


The wood I ordered from B&Q came to the wrong sizes to start with, then when I actually attempted to contruct the boards using MDF as the whole frame and top wasn't a good idea at all.


After much swearing and thought I've decided to basically start again, I'll be using tradional soft wood frame work attached direclry the garage walls with supporting legs on the outside of the boards.


Then instead of trying to get the frame to fit the board, it will be the other way round.


Hopefully then I can actually crack on with the track work.



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  • 3 weeks later...

Good evening, I do finally located my mojo for this project after a few weeks of feeling that I really couldn't be arsed.


I've decided to completely rethink/build the baseboards in a smaller section by section style, as opposed to four huge unmanageable boards.


The two end boards will no consist of three 4x2 boards, the width will still be as before 8ft wide by 2ft deep. These will again still marriage onto two side boards which now come in at 6x2 both sides.


The track plan has also been revised, after doing some scale plans with the two switches I've acquired I've realised even a bog standard passing loop wouldn't be long enough in the same I've got !


So...........lucky I can just fit a double circle in the space I've got, so I'm working towards a double track circle with oppersite crossovers each side with provision for a siding or two perhaps.


I was planning on a single circle with passing loops each side, with a single OO scale circle on the outside, but that looks like it's gone out the window now, the OO scale circle on the outside.


The below picture gives an indication of the scale of even the set track circle, and the new board design.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Good Evening,


I've actually starting building this bloody trainset after nearly two months of really not being in the mood after several set backs. I can confirm I hate building baseboards !!!!!

I also popped into the model shop to pick up some more track, my Pillbox van is now in store and undergoing the weathering process it promises to be awesome I'm told. 



Below is the full half circle of the inner running line, on one of the end boards the other end will be identical to this one. I still need to fix the underframe and attach the legs.






The next picture is the outer running line with the inner marked out in purple ink, the outer will need some inserts of flexi track to keep the correct distance between the two.



Both running lines very roughly laid to show the plan.



This one is one of the two side boards, both will have crossovers to allow movement from the UP to the DOWN, there'll also be a switch from the inner road to a 'complex' of sidings on the inside of the circle, however the priority is to lay the two mainlines first.



Looking at the pictures, I may well add the backboards to the sides at least make it a little more photogenic. 

Adding signals will also take place, now Ive got a decent look at the space I've got. Hopefully a proper Distant then Home set up with junction (brackets) at the crossovers - getting excited now :)


Looking at the radius of the inner line, there might just be enough room to get a single OO scale loop, I've got just about enough brand new flexi track from a previous project. One for the future watch this space.........................


I'm starting to 'feel' the project now at last !!!


Great Western

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  • RMweb Gold

L&B is a cracking store, the Gent with the glasses is always very helpful and does a good deal !


I got my first sections about three months ago, so its been out sometime. Its very good kit just takes a huge amount of space, but that's O I've found out !!!!


Great Western


That'll be Peter (Lord) with the glasses - thoroughly decent chap.


Do you think the set track will stand being put down and taken up multiple times, or are the rail joiners not that sturdy? I quite fancy being able to plonk down a loop on my decking when the weather's nice.

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Good Evening,


I've finished today's train set undertaking in a positive mood for a change, I've spent the last two months finishing in a right mood, because things weren't going right but it seems I've turned a corner now with the project.

I started today thinking painting was a fun past time, starting with a blank canvas and finishing with a masterpiece. No, I blinking hate painting ! I started circa Noon, and dropped to the ground, covered in paint and sun burnt at circa 1800 !

If I see, or pick up a paint brush at any point during the next decade I reckon I'll scream !


Although it just occurred to me after spending 6 hours painting four boards, I've forgot to paint the backboards for the side and rear board back scene.







That can wait, the baseboards are all primed with two coats wood sealant print ready for the frames. I don't think there is any need to paint the soft wood legs, as I've found with previous projects (which weren't painted) that the plywood baseboards attracted the mould and moisture, rather than the soft wood frames.


Maybe Baby.......




One board painted with the bottom coat, now it's the seconds turn for it's bottom coat. Luckily by the time I'd painted one side the other board was practically dry so I could crack on with the other side, and in the end the top coat.



Both boards bottom coats applied, second coat time



Time for some food, well I had to do it myself between running outside to make sure no one had nicked my stuff. It filled a hole !



Both end boards double coated done ! At bloody last :)



I was about to jump in the air, like I just didn't care with joy. Until I turned round and saw this little sod waiting for me, along with its brother. They both required double coats to! 



After six hours of non stop paining, sun burn and random looks from the neighbours........da da !



Four fully prepared baseboards ready for framing. Oh, and I'm not 7ft tall, I was stood on the garage roof ! 


Time for some rest before I crack on with the frames next week, hopefully I should be able to show my Pillbox van to. Watch this space!


Great Western.

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I've only spent an hour or so on my trainset today, I've been tasked to cut the grass, clean the cars and play taxi driver to the kids! So progress has thus been limited to playing with track plan templates, and planning in my mind what direction the track takes.




The wood represents plan line with the points as, well points !


The idea is for this side (both sides will be identical) empty trains will come in via the slip into the exchange head shunt, next to the mainline. Then set back into the head shunt nearest the camera, cut the brake off then draw forward and back out onto the mainline. The loco will then crossover on to the DN line round the curve and cross over on the switches that mirror this side. Run light engine back to this side then, push the empty wagons into the loading siding. Or something along those lines ! 


The reverse will happen for unloading on the other side, I plan to have a operational hopper on the loading road to actually load the wagons :)



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Well I've got a genuine buzz this evening, browsing Facebook and came across the RMWeb announcement of DJ Models/Hattons Commission of the Mighty King Class Express Locomotive! :) I defiantly down for 6000, and maybe 23 and 24.


This combined with the first board being fully erected about an hour ago, after some troubles earlier on.


I don't think I've concluded among my many hates, that I hate baseboard construction! 


I initially cut the frame work to size, then glued it the bottoms. Left to set for the recommended time, then attempted to turn the board over to secure with screws. However, on turning the board over the frame work fall off !!!!


So after a session of swearing a Merchant Seaman would be proud of, I decided to erect the frame on the board to ensure it was all correctly sized (after I'd reassembled the jigsaw) then drill and screw the joints first. This I'm pleased to report worked fine, this stage was complete in less then 90 minutes ! I attached the four pairs of legs, and then the big moment came!!!!! I placed the baseboard on the frame and DaDa ! Success! 


The frame secured with one set of legs attached, the baseboard is lose underneath at this point. As you can see I always work in a safe, tidy workshop! 




All the legs attached, just about to flip it over and into place before placing the lid on.



Success ! One down three to go.



Couldn't resist putting some track down :)



All nice and tidy, ready for tomorrows construction of the sides and maybe time permitting the other end.



Watch this space over the next few days for some very exciting progress ! 


Great Western



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Evening all,


Construction work has been completed on My O Gauge Trainset, at blinking last !  :danced:  :danced:  :danced:


The remaining two side boards, and the final end board were completed in circa two hours this afternoon, which a sizeable time saving on the near enough five hours the first board took !

Off to Lord & Butler tomorrow to pick up some more track and maybe, just maybe my first item of rolling stock.#


The door way to the 'other world' aka frame for the side boards!



Opposite end frame work complete, awaiting legs and lid.



Building baseboards has driven me to drink!



End board complete, minus legs.



After three weeks work, much sweat, swearing, blood and a little bit of crying its complete ! A monster has been born !!! 




Up Side:



Down Side.



Under board storage area, for the wife's rubbish.



My new domain, awaiting a serious track laying session.



Sign of things to come, the fun bit !





Great Western



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  • 2 weeks later...

Good Evening all,


Not much work on the trainset of late, the real railway has been calling. Well RDW is coming in handy to pay for the rather large monster that is being born in the garage!

All I've done really is mark out the boards with the track plan, in all I require 13 (2 in stock) switches, and approx 14 sections of plain line in 1yd lengths, plus at least another 16 curve sections! So nearly there !!!!


The idea is a train will load its wagons on the one side, via a complex shunting move. Then back out onto the mainline to dispose its load on the other side, again via a complex shunting movement.


The mainlines are the roads to the back of the boards, the train will shunt into the sidings at the front of the board.



The headshunt which is long enough, just for a Terrier.



The other end of the loading side.



This is the headshunt for the unloading side.



Again lots of shunting aka hassle for the crew to gain access to the unloading loop (to the right).



Each side will have its own control frame, with in time the DCC Concept levers built into a raised frame.




Great Western

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