Yet another struggling for inspiration thread!

Any questions about designing a model railway layout or problems with track work.
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centenary
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Re: Yet another struggling for inspiration thread!

Postby centenary » Sun Aug 22, 2021 4:01 pm

I have to make a decision on which of the two track plans Ive drawn to finally get around to building.

I like the Hornby Magazine 'Topley Dale' layout but it's major problem as I see it is the size and position of the station. The platforms are too small which in fairness is determined by their original position. It's why Ive tried a variation on the theme. The other track plan looks more challenging to build as it is on 2 levels requiring an incline \ reverse incline.

The intention is to run a mix of freight and passenger as Mrs Centenary has a passion for 1960s freight! I'm not stuck in a particular era and will probably run a quasi heritage set up with some coaching stock from the 1950s / 70s and mix of freight maybe up to the modern day! Weird, I know.

Now, you may say both track plans Ive posted have platforms shown so what's the problem? Well the 'problem' is they also introduce some visual and access limitations to the overall track plans. One of which has already been mentioned are the straight sections.

Im therefore considering not having any platforms on the layout to enable some more curvey bits. Am I wrong to ditch the platforms especially if Im going to be running passenger trains? Can a layout get away with no platforms if it isnt entirely a freight operation?

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Bufferstop
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Re: Yet another struggling for inspiration thread!

Postby Bufferstop » Sun Aug 22, 2021 5:00 pm

There's no set of rules that say what you must or must not do. Of the vast number of points from which you can enjoy watching trains in action very few have a station platform in view. If you want to see a model train doing something interesting the station is the least likely place to see it. It arrives stands alongside the platform, then departs. Doors remain closed throughout and no one gets on or off. Away from the station it might wait for a train to clear a junction before the signal comes off and it can move off to another line. Any how you can only have a bit of the station you have to imagine the rest of it. So go the whole hog and imagine the whole station.
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glencairn
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Re: Yet another struggling for inspiration thread!

Postby glencairn » Mon Aug 23, 2021 12:39 am

As Bufferstop says 'go the whole hog and imagine the whole station.

On my layout, be it steam or diesel running I have two small stations, Leeds Sovereign Street and Roseville Stations. They are two DMU carriages in length (just).
Whenever I run longer trains they do not stop at the stations but carry on to Leeds Central (Off stage fiddle yard.)

If a station is a must, I did see a layout (some time back) that showed a station entrance with the start of platforms. Everything else was a fiddle yard under a city scene. Trains of locomotive and one coach arriving at the station from the fiddle yard. Stop. Uncouple the engine. Locomotive travels to shed. After a short break locomotive returns to station to the fiddle yard. Although not actually seen from above, returns to the opposite end of coach. Couples up and departs to the fiddle yard.
Although only one coach is used, it appears to be a longer train.

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Bigmet
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Re: Yet another struggling for inspiration thread!

Postby Bigmet » Tue Aug 24, 2021 12:21 pm

Bufferstop wrote:...If you want to see a model train doing something interesting the station is the least likely place to see it...

It's the track approaching the station (or the station throat in the case of a terminus) where most of the action occurs, particularly in steam operations where a change of traction, removal or addition of passenger rated stock will occur. And this location can be conveniently alongside the goods facilities of a through station.

Just the ends of the platforms on view is a good scheme, has been demonstrated very successfully on several layouts I have seen; and if the fiddle yard and storage is concealed behind, some of the necessary points can be in the station approach, which is a space saver. You can have freight avoiding lines too to cater for the goods interest.

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centenary
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Re: Yet another struggling for inspiration thread!

Postby centenary » Sun Feb 06, 2022 11:14 pm

Well I think Ive finally decided on the complete layout design! As Ive said before, imagine as a mimic panel rather than an exact plan as some gentle curves will be built in. Based very loosely on Hornby Magazine's Topley Dale, similar dimensions of 5m by 2.6m. Ive shifted the cross over from the top right to be between top and bottom right corners.

The intention is to use code 75 flex track, probably DCC Concepts recently announced flat bottom new OO nearer 4mm scale stuff. Track centers on corners are planned at 64mm. No curve is less than 540mm with most on the outer loop tracks no less than 566mm so track centers may be able to be made closer by a few mill. No points are less than 219mm and will be Peco electro frog.

I was favouring MegaPoints Controllers for point control but DCC Concepts Cobalt motors have frog switching polarity built in. MPC use cheaper servos but you need to buy the 4 gang relay and a board for each set of 4 points which makes the Cobalt's not that more expensive. Plus, you can wire ground signals into the Cobalts for automated stop \ proceed.

Id prefer the storage sidings at the bottom of the diagram to be under the main boards but, my woodwork skills wouldnt accommodate an access incline while a helix would simply add extra cost and complexity.

Access will be via a crawl under \ gate \ lifting section as SWMBO knees are gone and doesnt think it dignified for her to be crawling on her hands and knees in the garage even if that section is carpeted. Black lines indicate framework. Ive added the missing bits since the screen capture.

All parts of the track design will not be built at once. The turntable area will be built later and the inner yellow loop, after that and may be subject to change.
Topley_Dale_A.jpg

Bigmet
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Re: Yet another struggling for inspiration thread!

Postby Bigmet » Mon Feb 07, 2022 12:20 pm

It's a good 'watch the trains go by' layout, of the passenger services some stop, some pass through, some could not only stop but terminate and reverse.

(The yellow lines to be added later, I would want for some stopping goods. The track as drawn would provide a very simple yard servicing a bulk goods depot: for example cement, sand, aggregate, and general building supplies for major construction going ahead in the area.)

Crucial question, where is the lifting access going to be positioned? The ideal location is one with the fewest plain tracks crossing the lifting section. If the tracks can cross at right angles to the edges of the lifting section that's the most tolerant of minor positional error. Points wholly on a lifting section are possible, but 'inadvisable'.

I think this worth mentioning as the only access shown is the end door, which suggests the centre section of that end of the layout might be the lifting access; the track plan can be easily be adjusted if this is the case . Ignore all this if there is a personal door into the garage, adjacent plain track and you have worked this out already...

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centenary
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Re: Yet another struggling for inspiration thread!

Postby centenary » Wed Feb 09, 2022 6:43 pm

Bigmet wrote:It's a good 'watch the trains go by' layout, of the passenger services some stop, some pass through, some could not only stop but terminate and reverse.

(The yellow lines to be added later, I would want for some stopping goods. The track as drawn would provide a very simple yard servicing a bulk goods depot: for example cement, sand, aggregate, and general building supplies for major construction going ahead in the area.)

Crucial question, where is the lifting access going to be positioned? The ideal location is one with the fewest plain tracks crossing the lifting section. If the tracks can cross at right angles to the edges of the lifting section that's the most tolerant of minor positional error. Points wholly on a lifting section are possible, but 'inadvisable'.

I think this worth mentioning as the only access shown is the end door, which suggests the centre section of that end of the layout might be the lifting access; the track plan can be easily be adjusted if this is the case . Ignore all this if there is a personal door into the garage, adjacent plain track and you have worked this out already...


I agree with what you say. Id like to get a shuttle train in possibly to a bay platform but, something else would have to give to accommodate that another single line to somewhere and return. Im the first one to admit the latest design is yet another compromise to train storage, having a decent length of running track and, worst of all, access forSWMBO. I did another design, not sure but I think it's in this thread, that's a 'folded 8'(?) with an incline \ decline. But, there was very little room for sidings never mind challenging my building skills. Another had 4 lines running through the 2 platforms but SWMBO didnt like that idea!

That side with the yellow tracks is my biggest headache. As mentioned the layout is loosely based on Topley Dale. That's the ideal place to put some stopping goods \ sidings. The problem I have trying to design anything suitable there that can accommodate a decent sized goods train and make it difficult to get out again onto the main lines.

Due to the garage layout, the access \ lifting section is just to the right of the platforms, the larger block with '610' in it. 610 indicated the proposed width of the base board on that side. The garage door wont generally be an access point. If the build goes to plan, the 3 large sections will in reality be one board that wihile permanent, would be made to be removed as one to allow any necessary maintenance of the garage door itself or its mechanism.

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Re: Yet another struggling for inspiration thread!

Postby Bigmet » Thu Feb 10, 2022 11:19 am

centenary wrote:...Due to the garage layout, the access \ lifting section is just to the right of the platforms, the larger block with '610' in it...

That's useful, all plain track; potentially very simple provided there isn't much in the way of tall scenery on it.

centenary wrote:... Id like to get a shuttle train in possibly to a bay platform but, something else would have to give to accommodate that another single line to somewhere and return...

Is it the appearance of a bay platform that you want? If so you have to modify, and the platform with the loop around it is the ideal location, can be modified to a bay arrangement. Personally, I'd retain the loop as it gives more running possibilities; there were plenty of locations where a through platform was used as the mainline 'terminus' of a branch shuttle. (In the location that is the basis for my layout, two branches had their mainline terminus on one face of a through island platform, which also served both ECML down lines. Busy place in short, which is what is wanted for operational interest.)

centenary wrote:...That side with the yellow tracks is my biggest headache. As mentioned the layout is loosely based on Topley Dale. That's the ideal place to put some stopping goods \ sidings. The problem I have trying to design anything suitable there that can accommodate a decent sized goods train and make it difficult to get out again onto the main lines...

A crossover between the yard line and the loop around the platform will help with this, positioned as far to the left of the '1700' as the points will go, in order to maximise train length. That way a goods can enter the yard from the outer circuit, and after shunting depart on the inner circuit (to be reformed in the storage as you wish). We are always constrained by space requirements, because the real railway positively sprawled...


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