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Mid-Cornwall Lines - 1950s Western Region in 00


St Enodoc
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Blimey. 

Firstly it is obvious that I should have emigrated so that my layout building skills becmae enhanced to this level.

Secondly, being my first visit to this thread, I have to say that your layout  'homes' match mine......until the building of the 'railway room' Wow, what a place! I have to remain in the loft and now I'm really jealous.

Third.....your pics of the L Girders etc have been posted at just the right moment; I'm about to go that route. So many other ideas too.

Finally, a really good choice of  era and location; just across the river from my birth City at just the right time.

Lovely stuff matey and I shall now be following this but I promise not to misbehave as I do on ANTB.

Phil (ex 83D) 

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Blimey. 

Firstly it is obvious that I should have emigrated so that my layout building skills becmae enhanced to this level.

Secondly, being my first visit to this thread, I have to say that your layout  'homes' match mine......until the building of the 'railway room' Wow, what a place! I have to remain in the loft and now I'm really jealous.

Third.....your pics of the L Girders etc have been posted at just the right moment; I'm about to go that route. So many other ideas too.

Finally, a really good choice of  era and location; just across the river from my birth City at just the right time.

Lovely stuff matey and I shall now be following this but I promise not to misbehave as I do on ANTB.

Phil (ex 83D) 

Thanks Phil, much appreciated. Yes, many of us down here are lucky enough to have space for what Cyril Freezer called Larger Layouts.

 

Don't worry about misbehaving - it's easy to take ourselves too seriously in this game. As Linn H Westcott said, railway modelling is fun (actually he said railroad modelling but never mind). And as C L R James didn't quite say, what do they know of railways who only railways know?

 

If you ever find yourself down this way you would be very welcome to come and play trains.

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Today I decided to start setting out the main lines through the platforms at Porthmellyn Road and the curves round the corner across the lifting flap.

 

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I set out the Penzance Up throat using three A5 Y-point templates. The main lines lead off at a very slight angle to the centre lines of these points and will be faired in with gentle curves set out by eye. These curves will also reduce the track centre spacing from the 50 mm of the storage loops to the standard 45 mm through the platforms.

 

The main line curves round the corner between the Up end of Porthmellyn Road and the lifting flap have transitions at both ends. At the station end, the layout is exactly the same as would have been built (and was indeed marked out) on the second St Enodoc (the loft layout), being a model of the actual layout at Par.

 

The main lines through the platforms are at standard centres and the Up Main transitions into a 915 mm (36 inch) radius curve. The Down Main, however, transitions into a 970 mm (38.16 inch) radius curve so that the track centre spacing is increased to 55 mm on the circular part of the curves. This 10 mm change in spacing is achieved by having different shifts for the two curves.

 

I like to work with a 13 mm (0.5 inch) shift as a starting point. For the curves I use, with a minimum radius of 762 mm (30 inches), this gives transitions of a reasonable length. Reasonable means that it satisfies the rule of thumb that the transition should not be shorter than about two coach lengths in model form (it would be much longer on the prototype to give a smaller cant gradient, but the radii are larger there too). In this case reasonable is also is defined as the length of the piece of thick card found in the middle of bolts of dressmaking fabric, which is what all my templates were made from about 25 years ago.

 

The transitions take the form of a cubic parabola, using the formula:

 

L = SQRT (24RS)

 

where

 

L is the transition length (from the circular curve to the straight track);

SQRT means take the square root of the expression in brackets;

R is the curve radius; and

S is the shift.

 

For R = 970 and S = 13, L = 550.

 

To get the increased track spacing we need a bigger shift on the 915 mm curve. Adding the increasing spacing of 10 mm to the basic shift of 13 mm gives a new shift of 23 mm and a transition length of  710 mm.

 

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These two photos show the templates for the 970 mm and 915 mm radius curves respectively. They were made to Imperial dimensions, so the lengths are slightly different from those above due to rounding.

 

At the centre of the transition the track is offset by half the total shift, while the tangent point to the circular curve is offset by four times the shift. The templates are double-sided so that they can be used for curves of either hand.

 

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When I set out curves for double track on a layout I line up the centres of the transitions and mark out the curves from there. This gives a nice smooth look to the curve and a consistent change of track spacing to match the end and centre throw of trains as they enter and leave the curves.

 

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In this and the previous photo you can see the centre line of the Down Goods Loop as well. On straight track, the six-foot way (45 mm centres) would be increased to a ten-foot way (61 mm centres) where loops or sidings run alongside running lines. We need to add an extra 10 mm for throw, so the Down Goods Loop has a radius of 970 + 61 + 10 = 1041 mm (41 inches).

 

These photos also show where the trackbed will be split to apply the cant or superelevation separately to the Up and Down Mains – more on this another time.

 

I have not set out any transitions on the Down Goods Loop because it trails into the Down Main at the station, so the circular curve will continue until it reaches the correct angle (1 in 5) for the connection. The Down Goods Loop will not be canted either.

 

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Other than in platforms or where the prototype featured it, I don’t like to see straight track on the scenic parts of a layout. Hence, the curves ease out to the 12000 mm radius described in an earlier post. I have cheated a little here by overlapping the 12000 mm curve and the transitions to save length.

 

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The entry to the Down Goods Loop is on the other side of the lifting flap and the hand, or flexure, of the 12000 mm radius curves has reversed in the meantime. In model form the radius of these curves is so large that I haven’t bothered with transitions as these would have ended up longer than the curves themselves. It is usual to have a short length of straight track between reverse curves (although in model form, to save space, overlapping the transitions so that the centres coincide is a good compromise. This was done for the Paddington and Penzance loops on the loft layout).  However, on these large-radius curves I haven’t worried about that either. My tracklaying skills aren’t that accurate anyway.

 

Next, I need to cut the trackbed for the curves, position the joists and fix the ply to the joist with packing where needed to give the right amount of cant.

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Yesterday I fitted the joists to support the plywood baseboard top at the Up end of Porthmellyn Road, where it goes round the corner to the lifting flap.

 

First I cut three slots using the jigsaw, to separate the three tracks so that the Up and Down Mains can be canted. I then made a joist to support the plywood close to the Up end pointwork which is where the superelevation starts. Because of the location of the points the cant doesn’t start quite at the beginning of the transitions, so to keep things simple the cant on both the Up and Down Mains will begin at the same place. As mentioned last week, the Down Goods Loop is not canted.

 

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I fitted the first joist at the start of the cant, at an angle so that it is perpendicular to the tracks.

 

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I located the remaining joists so that they support the plywood at the positions of half cant and full cant, both entering and leaving the curves. As far as possible these are also perpendicular to the track centre lines, although this could not be achieved in every case. The sixth joist is just out of shot to the left and is in fact the joist next to the ledge of the lifting flap, which was fitted some time ago.

 

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I placed the plywood on top of the joists but haven’t fixed it down yet as I ran out of time. I marked out the pointwork locations as well, using a paper template that I made nearly 25 years ago for the loft layout. The tracks were drawn on lining paper and the point templates stuck to that. Because the points are actually on the transitions they are slightly curved, so the points were tailored to the exact layout by cutting and pasting the C&L templates on to the lining paper. These will form the actual construction templates in due course.

 

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Today three of the operating gang popped in to look at progress and for a good yarn. While waiting for them to arrive I confirmed the track positions on the layout project plan – including the tracks across Nancegwithey Viaduct, which is now the missing link in the main line circuit. However, before closing the gap I will pack the plywood to the correct cant for each track and fix it to the joists before laying the main lines through Porthmellyn Road and round the curve (or should that be round the bend?).

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Dear John,

 

It is very instructive to see the very precise nature of your planning and preparation. This is a necessary aspect of creating your own points I suppose. I continue to follow with interest the thread, as the layout takes shape. The plan above is clearly another important aspect of that planning. Thanks for the thread.

 

Regards,

 

Anthony Ashley

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Rather a lot of Fixit blocks here. At the extreme left hand side there are only two to secure the plywood to the joist next to the lifting flap. The next three joists have one block under each of the three tracks plus one next to the wall, then the fifth and sixth have an extra one at the front. Because the fifth joist is under a join in the plywood, I used a double row of blocks there.

 

I didn’t pack the first and sixth joists, as the tracks are not canted at those places. The second and fifth joists have 1 mm packing under the outer edge of the Down and Up Mains, while the same tracks have 2 mm packing where they cross the third and fourth joists. I made the packing from short lengths of 40 thou Evergreen strip. The Down Goods Loop is not canted at all.

 

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Prototype cant was generally limited to about 6 inches or 150 mm in steam days. The plywood strips are roughly 55 – 60 mm wide so in theory we should pack up to about 6 mm to get 2 mm cant across the two rails themselves. However, in 4 mm scale we are not concerned with stability or passenger comfort but only with appearance, so I didn’t go that far for two reasons. One is that so much difference in height between the plywood strips would look rather odd, but more importantly the cant gradient, or twist, needed to introduce so much cant over a length of only about 500 mm would be excessive and would certainly lead to a high risk of derailments. So, a maximum 2 mm cant across the plywood is equivalent to a full-sized cant across the rails of about 2 inches, which from a visual point of view is enough.

 

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The layout plan now includes all the main running lines through Porthmellyn Road. Last week I mentioned the template for the Up end pointwork and here it is, based on the characteristic arrangement at Par, albeit with the main lines curving the opposite way from the prototype. I will make the two spurs leading off the double slips longer than on the real thing so that they can be used as carriage sidings.

 

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Par had a pair of Y-points at the Down end of the Branch platform and loop where the Newquay branch curves away behind the signal box towards St Blazey. I tried several ways to replicate these, but I found that this was not practicable without shortening the Branch platform to an unacceptable extent. I therefore ended up with conventional left-hand A5 points instead. The two Chapel sidings lead off the connection between the Branch platform and the Down Main to run parallel to the Up line.

 

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To fit in the connection from the Loop to the main lines I needed a left-hand point between the connection into the Chapel sidings and the point at the end of the Branch platform. This point has to be of as shallow an angle as possible and the space was just long enough for a B7. The diverging track of this point crosses the Down Branch at an angle of about 1 in 3, and then curves round to join the Loop. This will be a challenging piece of trackwork to build.

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A few weeks ago acg5324 of this parish asked about the trackbed in the scenic areas. I am using a foam trackbed supplied by DCC Concepts in Perth. This comes ready chamfered for the ballast shoulder, and is cut part way through to make it easy to split it along the centre line for laying round curves. I use cork to fill in between tracks for pointwork (and potentially also in the goods yards), as it is cheaper than the foam equivalent.

 

This photo shows the first section of foam on the Down Main, with a cork infill for the pointwork and a short section foam laid on the Up Main as well. Laying the foam is quick and easy so if all goes well next weekend I should be able to get all the way round to the lifting flap, ready for tracklaying.

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Having laid all the straight trackbed through Porthmellyn Road last weekend, it was time to continue round the curve towards Nancegwithey Viaduct and Tremewan Tunnel.

 

The first job was to run a Surform over the outer edges of the Up and Down Main trackbeds, to take the square edges off and make them look a bit less obtrusive.

 

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I laid the half-strips of foam for the outer rails first, so that I could see more easily where the marked-out track centre lines were. The pins are to keep the foam in the correct horizontal alignment, not to hold it down – once the roller has been over it the PVA seems to have enough ‘grab’ for that.

 

Once I got near the lifting flap it was time to cut and fit the 3 mm ply sections of trackbed that bridge the gaps at each end of the flap.

 

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Before I laid these strips I decided to fit a fourth locating dowel, which you can just see between the Down Main and Down Goods Loop at the hinged end of the flap.

 

The longer pieces of ply are on the flap itself and at each end they overhang the adjacent baseboard by about 10 mm. I whittled away the edges of these strips but will have to come back later to fair them in properly with the foam strips that butt up against them.

 

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The geometry of the hinges means that the overhanging strips rise away from the fixed strips so the gap between them can be quite small. When I get round to scenery I will probably adopt a similar method and have overhanging pieces of grassy stuff to disguise the joins. I haven’t decided how to deal with the backscene yet though.

 

After letting all these strips dry overnight, I laid the inner strips today. This was very simple, as the outer strips provided the horizontal alignment and the roller did its job again for the vertical alignment.

 

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This sequence of photos shows the full extent of the main line trackbeds from the Up end of the lifting flap through Porthmellyn Road to the Penzance Up throat. This is now all ready for tracklaying.

 

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The missing link is the viaduct section. I installed some ply on a temporary basis so that I could mark out the track centre lines, the edges of the trackbeds and the slit that will go between them. The cant will start at the toe of the Paddington Up throat points and will end just before the point giving access to the Down Goods Loop. I didn’t cant the tracks across the flap itself, as I think it would be too tricky maintaining the vertical alignment at the opening end.

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Dear John,

 

Coming along very nicely. Can you please answer a few questions?

 

What ply thickness are you using for the track support and is it marine ply? Are the fixit blocks used to widen the supports to screw in the track support boards, or do they have another purpose? 

 

You clearly work in a very precise manner directly onto the base boards. I am using any rail to forward plan my track design and so use a different technique, but am interested in yours. You also maintain a very neat working area. Looking very good. 

 

Regards,

 

Anthony Ashley

 

http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/71151-north-welsh-coast-railway-welsh-dragon-rail/page-1

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Dear John,

 

Coming along very nicely. Can you please answer a few questions?

 

What ply thickness are you using for the track support and is it marine ply? Are the fixit blocks used to widen the supports to screw in the track support boards, or do they have another purpose? 

 

You clearly work in a very precise manner directly onto the base boards. I am using any rail to forward plan my track design and so use a different technique, but am interested in yours. You also maintain a very neat working area. Looking very good. 

 

Regards,

 

Anthony Ashley

 

http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/71151-north-welsh-coast-railway-welsh-dragon-rail/page-1

Anthony, the baseboard tops are 9 mm AA quality 5-ply marine plywood. Convention says that you should avoid screwing down the baseboard tops from above, as the screw heads will almost always get hidden under track or scenery. The Fixit blocks are just a very convenient way to attach the plywood to the timber structure from below. The alternative would be square-section stripwood but this would need cutting and drilling. Too much work!

 

The whole L-girder system originated in the USA and is described in many American textbooks - for example, the one that I have is "Basic Model Railroad Benchwork" by Jeff Wilson, published in the Model Railroader Essentials series by Kalmbach Books (ISBN 978-0-89024-836-2). I got my copy from the old ARHS shop at Central Station, but you should be able to find it at one of the local hobby shops.

 

I haven't used AnyRail as at the moment it doesn't have C&L 4 mm point templates in the database (interestingly, it does have the 7 mm scale versions and I think that RudderC of this parish used it for his new 0 gauge layout). I stick to the old-fashioned ways, with pencil and paper, plus C&L paper point templates and my own thick card curve and transition templates.

 

The working area only looks neat when I move everything to one side so that I can take the photos :) .

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John, I admire your patience.  Mine would have been exhausted by now building base boards as my carpentry skills are limited.  So I took the easy way out and had someone build mine for me and I was laying track one end before the job was finished the other!

 

Brian.

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Thanks Brian. A couple of points worth mentioning perhaps. First, this is a long-term project (probably the last layout I shall ever build) so I am not in a hurry. I still have the previous St Enodoc layout set up in fully operational condition to satisfy my operating urges. That will remain the case until the main lines have progressed to the point where I can operate them properly. That means all the storage loops and Porthmellyn Road track will be laid and wired. After that, St Enodoc has to come down anyway so that the station can be incorporated into the new layout.

 

My second point is that L-girder construction doesn't need great skill and precision compared with conventional grid frameworks, so I can get away with things more easily.

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Thanks Brian. A couple of points worth mentioning perhaps. First, this is a long-term project (probably the last layout I shall ever build) so I am not in a hurry. I still have the previous St Enodoc layout set up in fully operational condition to satisfy my operating urges. That will remain the case until the main lines have progressed to the point where I can operate them properly. That means all the storage loops and Porthmellyn Road track will be laid and wired. After that, St Enodoc has to come down anyway so that the station can be incorporated into the new layout.

 

My second point is that L-girder construction doesn't need great skill and precision compared with conventional grid frameworks, so I can get away with things more easily.

 

Yes, but you don't seem to be getting the best out of L-girder. Your ply trackbase is going straight down on the crosspieces without any risers. So no terrain possible below the trackbed.

 

Or have I misinterpreted the drawings? Logically, you could put the fiddleyards on trackbases screwed directly to the crosspieces if they are to be at a lower level than the scenic parts of the layout.

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Yes, but you don't seem to be getting the best out of L-girder. Your ply trackbase is going straight down on the crosspieces without any risers. So no terrain possible below the trackbed.

 

Or have I misinterpreted the drawings? Logically, you could put the fiddleyards on trackbases screwed directly to the crosspieces if they are to be at a lower level than the scenic parts of the layout.

Yes and no Joseph. For the main lines, apart from Nancegwithey Viaduct, the trackbase is indeed laid directly on to the joists. However, on the branch most of the track apart from St Enodoc station itself will be on risers. I have in mind that the 180 degree sweep round from St Enodoc towards Indian Queens and Treloggan Junction will mostly be on an embankment. On the approach to Pentowan there will be a section of beach and seaside below track level as well.

 

Having said all that, in my view even for a flat-top layout L-girder makes it easier for non-expert woodworkers to build a permanent structure. A portable layout might be different, as you haven't got the walls and floor to keep everything square and rigid.

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Yes and no Joseph. For the main lines, apart from Nancegwithey Viaduct, the trackbase is indeed laid directly on to the joists. However, on the branch most of the track apart from St Enodoc station itself will be on risers. I have in mind that the 180 degree sweep round from St Enodoc towards Indian Queens and Treloggan Junction will mostly be on an embankment. On the approach to Pentowan there will be a section of beach and seaside below track level as well.

 

Having said all that, in my view even for a flat-top layout L-girder makes it easier for non-expert woodworkers to build a permanent structure. A portable layout might be different, as you haven't got the walls and floor to keep everything square and rigid.

 

Thanks for that explanation.

 

Apart from an increase in volume due to extra height, I can see no reason not to use L-girder on a portable layout. In particular, it makes boards with curved edges much easier to construct.

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Thanks for that explanation.

 

Apart from an increase in volume due to extra height, I can see no reason not to use L-girder on a portable layout. In particular, it makes boards with curved edges much easier to construct.

That's a fair comment Joseph and you're definitely right about curved edges.

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During the week I painted the bare cork at Porthmellyn with a slate grey base paint. It’s not an exact match for the foam, but it will act as a disguise if (when) any bits of ballast break away in future.

 

By Saturday morning the paint had dried so I then laid the two main lines through Porthmellyn Road and round the bend as far as a full yard length would fit before the lifting flap.

 

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For the benefit of Anthony (Ashley), Alan (Westerner) and others, I didn’t tidy up but left all the gubbins lying around before I took these photos. Apart from the more obvious bits and pieces, the photos show both a tub and a tube of Kwik-Grip Water Based contact adhesive (the tub is more economical for spreading on the trackbed while the tube is easier for coating the sleepers); the small roller and behind it a 6-ft and 10-ft way gauge (home-made from plastic sheet); the Xuron rail cutters and a pair of Xuron snippers which I use to cut the web on the SMP track so that it can be curved. The plastic food container is just a small portable rubbish bin.

 

At the moment everything is plain line, but the position of all the pointwork is marked out ready for the points to be inserted in due course.

 

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I cut the viaduct plywood with the jigsaw and to check that there were no problems I fitted it up, still temporarily. That’s the reason for the massive step at the lifting flap end before you ask.

 

At the Paddington end I hadn’t trimmed the sides of the plywood away where the ground drops below track level (this was not planned – I just forgot and then ran out of time yesterday).

 

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I propped up the tunnel mouth, 250 mm from the toe of the Paddington Down throat points, to check just how far back to trim the plywood. This is the Javis product, which with the vertical sides looks to me a little bit like Treverrin. The resin moulding is very nice, but it was slightly bowed when it arrived. I intend to try to straighten it out by heating it and compressing it while it cools, but what do people recommend to heat it up – boiling water, or a short stint in the oven and if so at what temperature?

 

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The Atlas plate girders are fractionally less than 9 inches long, which means that there is enough room for the viaduct to have five spans. I made the intermediate functional piers from 9 mm plywood, which is thin enough to go up the inside of the cosmetic Wills piers. I screwed these functional piers to standard joists at the bottom, and to the plywood baseboard tops with the right packing for the cant. As before, I left the joists over length so that they can be trimmed back later. Due to the curve of the viaduct, these four joists are not perpendicular to the wall.

 

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Once all this was done, I laid the foam trackbed across the no-longer-missing link between the lifting flap and Paddington. I am quite excited by this view, as the gentle reverse curve and the cant on the viaduct has turned out just as I had imagined and hoped it would. I think that this corner of the layout is going to be a really good place to sit and watch the trains go by.

 

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This is the Atlas girder bridge that will form the basis of the viaduct itself. I will cut the girders off each side, turn them upside down and sit them on top of the Wills piers. If the viaduct doesn’t look tall enough I will try to extend the height of the two middle piers to allow the valley floor to be deeper.

 

With one weekend left in September, I am going to have a crack at meeting Barry O’s “Forty Years On” challenge to have a train running right round the room by the end of the month. If tracklaying goes well then all I have to do is fix up some temporary wiring to get power across the lifting flap and get rid of the crocodile clips (“All I have to do” – a phrase to chill the heart of any railway modeller…).

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Two working days left to meet Barry O’s challenge…

 

That meant tracklaying on Saturday and wiring on Sunday. Achievable with a fair wind but not if anything didn’t turn out as planned or expected.

 

So, on Saturday I had to lay about 10 yards of track, five on each main line, to close the gap between the Up end of Porthmellyn Road and the Down end of the Paddington loops. This section includes the lifting flap of course so I started there.

 

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I always replace some plastic sleepers on either side of a baseboard joint with copperclad ones. In the past I have normally used three each side but I decided to use five each side to have a better chance, I think, of maintaining the alignment.

 

Once the adhesive holding the sleepers had set I laid the corresponding tracks. At this stage the track is vulnerable to damage if the lifting flap is moved accidentally, so I finished off both tracks across the flap before carrying on over the viaduct. After gluing down the track itself, I soldered the rails to the copperclad sleepers, using roller gauges for the second rail, then made the insulating gaps with a cutting disc and finally cut the rails themselves using the same tool.

 

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This is what the joint looks like after all that is done. The insulating gaps are close to the nearer rail to hide them as far as possible from normal viewing angles.

 

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This is what the whole lifting flap looked like after I had laid both the Up and Down main lines, both in the closed and raised positions.

 

The rest of the plain track across the viaduct went down very easily, using the card templates to fix the 12000 mm radius curve. The main thing to remember was to fit insulating fishplates so that the main lines don’t form a continuous electrical loop. Eventually I will fit RC snubbers to each track on each side of the insulating joints.

 

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I use Tracksettas where possible to get smooth curves and especially smooth joins in curved track. This photo shows green 36 inch Tracksettas on the left, while the yellow 60 inch Tracksetta is where the plain track will be replaced in due course with an A5 Y point. The short section of track between the two is just faired to a smooth curve.

 

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Here is the view across the viaduct in the Down direction. I think you can just about make out the cant on the two tracks, while the insulating fishplates show up quite clearly.

 

After a couple of final tweaks to the alignment I left everything to dry off overnight.

 

Today I had to switch my brain from months of woodworking and a few weeks of tracklaying to matters electrical. To get things running today I needed to make the connections across the lifting flap and I decided to install the permanent wiring for this, although everything else is strictly temporary at the moment.

 

The first job was to install some droppers. I make these from 1/0.7 mm bell wire, with the insulation stripped off.

 

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I wind one end round a piece of dowel and twist it together to make a loop. The feeders later get hooked on to the loops and soldered into place.

 

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Each dropper is fed through a small hole next to the rail and soldered into place. The positions are staggered to minimise the chance of accidental shorting between feeders. When the permanent wiring is installed the Up and Down lines will form separate power districts but for today they are connected in parallel.

 

I don’t know if there is a DCC standard for which rail is red and which black, but I followed the same convention as on the existing layout – namely, the right-hand rail looking in the Down direction is red.

 

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To make sure that all trains stop when the lifting flap is raised, there are two microswitches that cut power to both tracks between Paddington and Porthmellyn Road, including the lifting flap itself (although under the temporary arrangement the whole of each circuit is fed through the microswitches). The microswitches are operated by the side frames of the flap when it is lowered and they are connected with 24/0.2 mm wire (0.75 sq mm or 18 AWG), which is my standard size for feeders between the bus wires and the droppers. The bus wires themselves are 7/0.67 mm (2.5 sq mm or 13 AWG) stripped out of flat twin building wire – this is by far the cheapest way to buy it. You can just make out the bus wires as they lead down towards floor level.

 

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The bus wires cross the doorway at floor level inside a rubber flexible cord ramp. The ramp I chose has three channels inside it. One pair of bus wires passes through each of the outer channels and the larger central channel will carry the point and signal wires for the lead from the Down Main to the Down Goods Loop. The ramp sits nicely between the railway room carpet and the layout legs (good luck rather than good judgement I must admit). Once all the wires are in place, the ramp will be stuck to the floor with carpet tape.

 

Although these are the final wires, I haven’t loomed or clipped them up yet, and they are still somewhat over length.

 

All through today’s work I had the multimeter set to buzz for a short circuit. Fortunately it only buzzed when it was supposed to, when I was checking continuity not isolation.

 

Well, did I achieve my target? Yes I did – at 1645 AEST Bachmann pannier 7711 ran all the way round the Up Main, and then I ran D816 on the Cornish Riviera all the way round the Down Main. Barry O’s challenge has therefore been met, and I have a video taken by Veronica to prove it (although the file is about 87 Mb in size so too big to email I’m afraid Baz). It was also very satisfying to complete this stage of the work on the 190th anniversary of the opening of the Stockton and Darlington Railway and, although I didn’t realise this until I was cataloguing today’s photos, the first anniversary of running the first train on the existing St Enodoc layout in the new railway room.

 

It’s now time to draw breath, take stock and spend some weekend time on other things for a while (although I will be visiting the big Sydney Model Railway show next weekend). Now that trains are running I can take my time doing more “testing” and installing the permanent wiring round the main lines before I start on the marathon task of building points and laying the tracks for the Paddington and Penzance loops.

Edited by St Enodoc
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I decided to tidy up the railway room today after last weekend's somewhat hectic activity. I installed an EB1 circuit breaker as well, as I didn’t have time for that last Sunday, then ran the Cornish Riviera round a few more times just to pass the time.

 

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Here it is emerging from Tremewan Tunnel. If I were clever enough with computers I would have blacked out the area behind the tunnel mouth, but I’m not so I didn’t.

 

It might be my imagination, but I think you can see the train leaning into the curve as it crosses Nancegwithey Viaduct.

 

I then thought it would be a good idea to set up a train on the Up Main as well as the Down. I thought about a long goods, then the TPO or the sleeping cars, but in the end I got all the milk tanks out and marshalled them up with a Siphon G and a Hawksworth full brake. The train needed a loco of course, so I actually took all the locos out of their boxes and lined them up behind the main lines at Porthmellyn Road. This will let me test them progressively over the coming weeks.

 

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In the end I chose the two Dapol NBL Type 2s, which are semi-permanently coupled together, and here they are crossing Nancegwithey Viaduct in the Up direction.

 

The tanks are, intentionally, a mixed bag and definitely not all in period as far as liveries are concerned (Rule 1 applies). From the front there are two Hornby Express Dairy tanks, three Hornby-Dublo/Wrenn UD, four Hornby Aplin and Barrett and finally five Limas, which have been repainted and rewheeled. These will receive small United Dairies branding soon – I have already printed the labels and now I’ve dug the tanks out of their boxes I can apply them.

 

I ran both trains round together for a while. One of the bonuses of the lifting flap arrangement has turned out to be wheel sounds. With the ply trackbed and the rail gaps coming on or off the flap there is a very satisfying “clickety-clack” as trains pass.

 

At the moment while running trains I am restricted to standing or sitting in the corner near the lifting flap, as this is where the SB5 is connected to the temporary wiring (the permanent location will be at the Down end of Porthmellyn Road). On Monday at the Liverpool show I hope to pick up an RB02 radio base station. RodneyV of this parish, who is one of the operating gang, has kindly loaned me two radio Power Pro throttles so once the RB02 is set up I will be able to watch the trains go by from any point round the room.

Edited by St Enodoc
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