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Blog- Buckingham West - Weekend Engineering Works

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It's been a slow start in the new railway room, due to getting the new house ship shape. Christmas was very busy with all the family around. However, in the New Year, new progress has been made.


It turns out the builder is a slight railway enthusiast. His Grandfather worked on the GWR. He volunteered his services with woodworking. I took advantage and he came over and sawed up loads of timber including lots of curved sections of ply.


As followers will know, the junction station, Newton Purcell was recovered from the loft version and erected here. The downside is that the baseboard is MDF and I have been advised by my club to stick to ply. It has taken me too long to get to this stage to change it and start again. I hope I will never have to.


Along the left side, there will be two gradients, so I opted for open top boards. I decided to try the "L" section beams with top cross pieces. Thanks to Ray for the info on this technique. They are made from two pieces of 47 x 22mm timber glued and screwed. I still have to screw the cross sections in place and then fix the track beds to them allowing for the gradients, which look like 1:70 for the mainline and 1:60/65 for the branch. I still have the maths to do.


I have recycled one of the old loft baseboards for the wall opposite Newton Purcell, but I have taken the MDF off it and will replace it with 9mm ply. It was a sad day when I ripped up the track and points. This was the board with the storage loops on it. See previous entries. At least I can recycle most of the track, have a decent framework, and I learnt a lot about using common return and a reversing loop.


Along the right hand side (where the new storage loops and reversing loop will be) I have made the larger of the two boards. This is flat topped with 9mm ply on 47 x 22mm framing.


The main issues for the boards on both sides have been leg length. The floor slopes up from Newton Purcell and is uneven as well! It has been a bit of trial and error, with much use of a saw and spirit level. The new board is now in place though, but I still have to sort out the dumbbell trackwork. In the loft version, I built the boards with about 5.5" height difference. This allowed trains on the lower level to clear the bottom of the framing on the higher board. However, it would have meant gradients which were far too steep. If we hadn't moved house, I would have needed to replan the whole layout, so there is a silver lining!. This time I have allowed clearance of just 3" from top of one board to the top of the next and by using 9mm ply I can do without framing on the open top sections, just as long as the supports are no more than 12" apart. I am making the supports a max of 11" apart. This height difference is just enough to allow clearance whilst keeping the linking gradients to acceptable levels. The problem around the dumbbell is that the framing from the MK1 design of boards remains on the Newton Purcell boards and is in the way of the trains on the dumbbell below. The framing will have to be cut away in places and extra support put in to keep the MDF board in place and rigid. I have a plan!!


The dumbbell itself is just less than 4 feet diameter. I didn't want to go tighter, but couldn't afford greater diameter either. I can't reach across 4 feet, so there is an access hole to get the stock that will no doubt fall off furthest away from normal reach. To avoid trying to get a perfect circle in a difficult position using flexitrack, I have opted for settrack - 4th radius. It will be out of sight anyway.


The railway room also serves as house storage, so I now have to stow loads of stuff away below the boards before I have room to build the rest of the boards. And then there's the simple matter of the multi level lifting flap...........



















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