Prototype research

Any questions about designing a model railway layout or problems with track work.
Julia
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Prototype research

Postby Julia » Sun Apr 11, 2010 2:56 pm

When building a layout based on an actual prototype in a bygone era (1950's), what are peoples preferred places to find pictures or track plans of how the prototype was laid out?

I did a cursory google search and found no useful photos of the station I want to model in the era I want to model it in. So wondered if anyone had any advice or guidance.

Cheers

J

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Zunnan
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Re: Prototype research

Postby Zunnan » Sun Apr 11, 2010 3:40 pm

If its for a prototype location, I started with buying period maps of the area. Rail layouts seldom changed drastically in the Steam era, so quite often a large scale 1910-1920 map will do, I sourced most of mine from Alan Godfrey Maps, which are often of sufficient scale to show individual railway lines, and even pointwork and signalling. Then I had a look through The Signal Box to see if there are any signalling layouts online that can be laid over the Alan Godfrey map. This then gives you the basic plan which just needs the details filling in for what type of equipment was installed where the map shows. The best I can suggest here is not to rely on the internet, visit a local library for the area or the larger central lending library and rummage through the local history section. The internet has its uses and you can often dig up some gems from there (quite often after days or weeks of searching), but not every piece of information to an area is online and in one place like it is in libraries. After your researching, try using the info you have gleaned on a site visit, it can often make all the pieces click together even if the site has been completely redeveloped.

I went to Bermuda (in Warwickshire, not the Carribean :lol: ) following a week of online searches and two visits to Nuneaton Library and stood in the new housing estate being built there and could actually say that the pump house was there, the engine shed here, 'the field' was over there, Clara Pit exchange sidings there, that mound was the lime kilns, that path was the canal and narrow gauge line to the quarry...not bad for a site that was flattened in 1963! And not once did I buy an expensive book just for a few vague pages, I think my greatest expense was £4.50 for the initial maps!

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Re: Prototype research

Postby Sprintex » Sun Apr 11, 2010 5:08 pm

Best way I found was to search the internet for a decent book on the line you are tring to model. Very few pictures online for what I wanted to model either, but found a great book with plenty of photos and diagrams that explains a lot about the line :wink:


Paul

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Bufferstop
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Re: Prototype research

Postby Bufferstop » Sun Apr 11, 2010 6:12 pm

Old large scale maps as suggested plus the books and going to look for yourself. The layout of Bescot Junction has changed over the years, but I can still see what was the foundations of my uncles signal box.
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SouthernBoy
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Re: Prototype research

Postby SouthernBoy » Sun Apr 11, 2010 7:19 pm

Hello Julia,

Railway company related websites can be useful - for instance I use The Southern E-Group (covering the Southern Railway / Southern Region). They have many online resources plus an email group that can answer almost any question in detail, or point you in the direction of someone who can. There are similar groups for other Big Four and pre-grouping companies.

I believe the National Railway Museum at York has a good library of archives. For London based research the London Transport photographic (online) archive is also useful.

Mark

Julia
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Re: Prototype research

Postby Julia » Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:01 pm

SouthernBoy wrote:Hello Julia,

Railway company related websites can be useful - for instance I use The Southern E-Group (covering the Southern Railway / Southern Region). They have many online resources plus an email group that can answer almost any question in detail, or point you in the direction of someone who can. There are similar groups for other Big Four and pre-grouping companies.

I believe the National Railway Museum at York has a good library of archives. For London based research the London Transport photographic (online) archive is also useful.

Mark


Thats fantastic, that site has proved very useful, along with http://www.kentrail.co.uk, tho it doesn't have the track plan for the station I want to build. I think I will head to the library next week and see if I can find anything useful there.

Thanks for the pointer.

J

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SouthernBoy
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Re: Prototype research

Postby SouthernBoy » Wed Apr 14, 2010 9:32 pm

... tho it doesn't have the track plan for the station I want to build ...

If you have a particular station in mind why not tell us? You may find more specific advice can be given :)

Julia
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Re: Prototype research

Postby Julia » Wed Apr 14, 2010 9:40 pm

SouthernBoy wrote:... tho it doesn't have the track plan for the station I want to build ...

If you have a particular station in mind why not tell us? You may find more specific advice can be given :)


Well I am looking for more than one station, specifically:

* Ashford
* Wye
* Chilham
* Chartham
* Canterbury West

And I am looking at the period between when end of the war, and electrification. http://www.kentrail.co.uk/ has a track plan for Chartham and Wye, but nothing for the other three.

For canterbury I can discern most of the original track layout from what evidence is left. behind, but I am missing details like the engine shed, and the original through tracks.

Any ideas?

J

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SouthernBoy
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Re: Prototype research

Postby SouthernBoy » Wed Apr 14, 2010 10:32 pm

It may also be worth posting your query on RMWeb

They're a more serious bunch of modellers than here on NRM, but with the seriousness comes some intense knowledge. May be worth a try?

Out of curiosity - are you planning to model all these stations and the track between? What scale are you thinking of?

Julia
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Re: Prototype research

Postby Julia » Wed Apr 14, 2010 10:39 pm

SouthernBoy wrote:It may also be worth posting your query on RMWeb

They're a more serious bunch of modellers than here on NRM, but with the seriousness comes some intense knowledge. May be worth a try?

Out of curiosity - are you planning to model all these stations and the track between? What scale are you thinking of?


No, not at all, that would be an exercise in model masochism. At HO scale that would be 280+m in length...

I am trying very undecided about which to model, so am doing some research on all of them so I can work out what it would translate to before finally picking one.

J


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