Track Distance From Platforms

Any questions about designing a model railway layout or problems with track work.
thirdline
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Track Distance From Platforms

Postby thirdline » Mon Nov 02, 2020 6:23 pm

Hi, is there a recommended distance 00 gauge track should be from station platforms? My platforms are straight as will be the track, I have experimented with some of my existing rolling stock but am concerned that future RTR purchases may foul the platforms, but I don’t want to space them too far away as to look unrealistic.
Thanks in advance,
Mick.

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Mountain
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Re: Track Distance From Platforms

Postby Mountain » Mon Nov 02, 2020 11:22 pm

I always used to find my widest item of stock and use that. In 00 gauge it was usually the old Triang/Hornby Hall class. Those are actually nice things. :D

You could add an extra 2mm more then your widest item of stock. Be aware that stock going round curves towards a straight platform will need extra room.

But basiclly I would experiment and allow just a small amount more on top of that.

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Bufferstop
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Re: Track Distance From Platforms

Postby Bufferstop » Tue Nov 03, 2020 12:00 am

As Mountain says experiment with some bits of card to check the height and spacing that looks right. Many commercial platform models and kits are too low, they don't allow for deep sleeper cross section or any underlay. The minimum height of platform surfaces is 3ft above the rail tops, but many newer platforms are much higher. Most of my train riding is on Heritage lines and I'm used to two steps up to the carriage floor, it takes me by surprise when I travel on the main line and encounter higher platforms. Watch out for GWR locos the prototype ones have problems with platform edges when they go "off patch" and the models seem to have the same tendency, My City of Truro required half a millimetre shaving off one platform edge before it could get into the station.
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luckymucklebackit
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Re: Track Distance From Platforms

Postby luckymucklebackit » Tue Nov 03, 2020 9:04 am

Actually quite a prototypical problem, stories of platforms being scraped by cylinders etc were not uncommon, and even in the modern era the engineers still get it wrong - https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-27497727. I agree with the previous posts, check your distances and heights against your current stock then add a couple of mm clearance just in case. Don't know if you are aware of this diagram, a useful reference.

https://www.elginmodelrailwayclub.co.uk/2010/articles/advice/standard-railway-modelling-dimmensions.html

Jim
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Dad-1
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Re: Track Distance From Platforms

Postby Dad-1 » Tue Nov 03, 2020 9:27 am

I simply used what I thought was my widest loco and set the finest clearance I could without touching.
Then found my Lima Prairie was even wider and scraped, so sanded back the overhang. That one is on a
curved platform. Straight ones not usually a problem, but platforms have an overhang that allows a small
adjustment later if you get it too tight. I always prefer as tight as I can achieve.

Prototype problems in that area not unknown. A GWR loco was once impounded at Fratton (Portsmouth)
as it was too wide and should never have run East of Salisbury on Southern lines. The story never recounted
if it had clipped some platforms on the way with a special school trip. It also didn't tell of just how it was
removed, must have been a bit of head scratching !!

Geoff T.
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thirdline
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Re: Track Distance From Platforms

Postby thirdline » Tue Nov 03, 2020 12:54 pm

luckymucklebackit wrote:Actually quite a prototypical problem, stories of platforms being scraped by cylinders etc were not uncommon, and even in the modern era the engineers still get it wrong - https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-27497727. I agree with the previous posts, check your distances and heights against your current stock then add a couple of mm clearance just in case. Don't know if you are aware of this diagram, a useful reference.

https://www.elginmodelrailwayclub.co.uk/2010/articles/advice/standard-railway-modelling-dimmensions.html

Jim


Thanks Jim, that’s exactly what I was looking for my friend.
Thanks also to everyone who took the trouble to respond, assuming that locos are the widest items of stock I’ll check which is the fattest and use that as a gauge.

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Mountain
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Re: Track Distance From Platforms

Postby Mountain » Wed Nov 04, 2020 2:41 am

Bufferstop wrote:As Mountain says experiment with some bits of card to check the height and spacing that looks right. Many commercial platform models and kits are too low, they don't allow for deep sleeper cross section or any underlay. The minimum height of platform surfaces is 3ft above the rail tops, but many newer platforms are much higher. Most of my train riding is on Heritage lines and I'm used to two steps up to the carriage floor, it takes me by surprise when I travel on the main line and encounter higher platforms. Watch out for GWR locos the prototype ones have problems with platform edges when they go "off patch" and the models seem to have the same tendency, My City of Truro required half a millimetre shaving off one platform edge before it could get into the station.

Platform heights vary considerably on the railway network. GWR used to have many halts at ground level, and even today some smaller towns and villages have platforms at half height, which was common to build them at this height to save cost. Only the more populated areas like towns and cities had platforms at a more "Conventional" height in which we tend to model.
Another thing to consider is when modelling areas that once had broad gauge. In my area the track gap between platforms is more like the wide spacing that Hornby and Peco sectional track geometry has as broad gauge was wide. (7ft). So if one is modelling an area that used to have broad gauge, then the space between pairs of track needs to be increased, and obviously the platforms need to be adjusted accordingly.

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Re: Track Distance From Platforms

Postby GeraldH » Wed Nov 04, 2020 8:11 am

The widest item that I have encountered is the Hornby Class 06 diesel shunter. This has a metal footplate with cab footsteps that is designed to go over the moulded cylinders on the plastic 0-4-0 chassis. I gauge all my platforms with this loco. Of course I found this out the hard way! :)
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Re: Track Distance From Platforms

Postby Bigmet » Wed Nov 04, 2020 10:14 am

Platform height can even vary within a platform. Hatfield up side on the ECML was a case in point, there were three platform heights discernable until quite recently, original short and lower platform adjacent the early station buildings, slightly higher extension, and pretty close to standard height extension; as the station was expanded for increasing traffic over time. This may all have been swept away now as the old buildings have gone in a quite recent rebuild with a new station building and much else, I really ought to go for a look!
Dad-1 wrote:... platforms have an overhang that allows a small adjustment ...

That's a useful method for our models. Set the platform wall slightly further back than scale, and then if 'something wider' turns up, and isn't readily adjustable to scale width, then you have some wiggle room by cutting back the platform edge. I would always look first at reducing an overwidth model to scale, but some model constructions are in the 'don't go there' class...

Dad-1 wrote:... Prototype problems in that area not unknown. A GWR loco was once impounded at Fratton (Portsmouth) as it was too wide and should never have run East of Salisbury on Southern lines. The story never recounted if it had clipped some platforms on the way with a special school trip. It also didn't tell of just how it was removed, must have been a bit of head scratching !

Not really a problem to return the escapee back to its reservation. The direct to wheels drive of a steam engine generates a horizontal 'swaying couple', due to the alternating power strokes off the centreline, which among other things slightly bends the loco frame between cylinder and crank. Under power the loco 'weaves' slightly as it goes along, and the extremes of this summed with other motions, defines a 'dynamic envelope' which the loco occupies relative to the rails.

Either slowly dragging the dead loco, or only operating it slowly and going through the tight locations dead slow, provides an escape route which will do no damage. (There was a demo of this on one of the NYMR TV progs, where a King was being assessed for platform clearance. And all because blundering Brunel wasn't engineer enough to appreciate that standardisation was key to the success of a railway system.)

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stuartp
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Re: Track Distance From Platforms

Postby stuartp » Fri Nov 06, 2020 8:05 pm

Felt tipped pens sellotaped to one end and the centre of your longest coach (Dapol 12 wheeled diner in my case) make a useful marking gauge at the baseboard marking out stage. You get clearance of half a pen width all round.

Crossovers within platforms will cause you problems with end throw but they do on the real thing too - the telegraph codeword LACER indicating a vehicle which could not use them.
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gppsoftware
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Re: Track Distance From Platforms

Postby gppsoftware » Mon Jan 04, 2021 1:18 am

Correct measurements can be found here:

http://www.mrol.com.au/Pages/Vu/OOScaleMeasurements

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Bufferstop
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Re: Track Distance From Platforms

Postby Bufferstop » Mon Jan 04, 2021 11:34 am

The last time "Truro" was let out for a run it was in the care of Vintage Trains at Tyseley. A friend and I were talking to the lady on their stand at the Warley exhibition and I commented that it was coming back North to Tyseley that day. "I'm afraid not" she said, "It's out of gauge for the return route so Alleleys are bringing it back up the A34."
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Mountain
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Re: Track Distance From Platforms

Postby Mountain » Mon Jan 04, 2021 4:42 pm

The real railways have many restrictions too. For example if a class 142 or 143 is sent up the Centeal Wales Line (Heart Of Wales Line) they are not allowed to go beyond Llandrindod Wells due to the sharp curves heading towards Shrewsbury.
Also, and this is due to some of rhe platforms up there, they are not allowed to take a class 158 up the line (And this would be the same as a class 159 if there were any down these parts) because when these units were tried, the bottoms of the doors hit the floor due to the angle of the track and the platform height and no one could get in or out! Other units were fine in this regards because their doors opened in different ways.

Occasionally (Though hopefully rare) mistakes are made. Normally both control (The guys in charge of the railway company daily operations) and the trainstaff themselves are well aware of thw restrictions so if a wrong unit has been sent for a certain line then one has three seperate failsafes to ensure that the unit does not carry on on a line that is not suitable for it. The three are railway operations control, the driver and the guard. The signalman rarely has this knowledge as he or she is more responsible for ensuring the right train services are heading on the right routes which is enough of a job in itself to contend with in a busy area!
Occasionally though, there are mistakes made. An example of this in a certain location a steam special with a king class was routed into a long passing loop to let a faster service behind it overtake, and the king class had been cleared as safe to use the main running line but not the passing loop. What the signalman had not realized was the king class was ever so slightly too tall for this loop and it knocked the safety valve of the loco clean off! In the past they may well have used this loop going back some 50 odd years ago before extra ballast over the years would have increased the rail height. Who knows!

I remember a train driver telling mehe had to take a rake of old London Underground stock to be scrapped, and all was going ok until he went to pass a few of the stations along the route and he could hear and feel something sas wrong. The tube stock were not designed for ordinary platforms and it took all their wooden steps ad bargeboards clean off. It wasn't too much of a problem because they were on their way to be scrapped but they were worried incase they had damaged any lineside equipment.

Going ahead to when I was on the railways I remember a certain platform where the platform ramp was damaged and had to be rebuilt as it was hit by a tank. They were taking a train of tanks and todays tanks are wider then they used to be, so they have to be loaded carefully. On this one occasion one of the tanks tracks was loded just slightly too far to one side and while I did not get to see if the tank had damage though I expect that it did, I did see the chunk out of the platform that had to be fixed!

Many of us have seen on youtube or heard about some of the disasters that have happened when double decked stacked containers on freight trains in the USA and other places are sent on routes where they do not have sufficient height to take. It only takes one or two staff to not be on their toes ans notice for quite some damage to occur!
It is one reason why many railway companies think twice about introducing double decked freight or passenger trains where they may only have a few routes that can take them, as somewhere sometime someone will send one where it is not supposed to go and "Bang!" It ends up in disaster! By having a policy of keeping things to a standard size, it prevents disasters like this.
There is another reason why Britain does not adopt double decking of containers or other tall loaded freight cars. To do it means they have to use smaller wheels, and the problem with using smaller wheels is that if they get a flat spot due to sliding under heavy breakig the pounding of the flat spot on the rails with smaller wheels is far more intense ad this pounding causes rail breaks especially in the cold weather. Larger diameter wheels are less suseptable to causing rail damage when they get flat spots, unless there is a rare occasion like what once happened in B.R. days where a diesel shunter (Class 08) had brought in a rake of coaches and time was getting on, so an express loco was coupled at the leading end and the platform staff gave the right of way before the shunter could be uncoupled. All the staff on the little shunter could do was to screw the handbrake full on and hope for the best. The train was a non stopper and had travelled some 15 miles before it was stopped as a staffed station along the way had seen it and quickly phoned the signal man. I was told the journey back to their home depot with such large flat spots on those wheels was quite something!


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