'Ellensborough' (N Gauge WR) - Updated 2/1/09

Post pictures and information about your own personal model railway layout that is under construction. Keep members up-to-date with what you are doing and discuss problems that you are having.
guitardave_1
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'Ellensborough' (N Gauge WR) - Updated 2/1/09

Postby guitardave_1 » Tue Jan 15, 2008 9:01 pm

After much planning, I hope that I finally have enough to show to justify a thread. I'm the first to admit that time constraints mean I very rarely reply to other layout threads, but I'd still like to share my progress and hopefully pick up some constructive criticism and advice.

I'm working in N gauge, and this is my first attempt at a 'proper' layout. It will be based in an unspecified part of the Western Region in the transition era from steam to diesel - I couldn't choose one type of motive power and I'm a fan of the diesel-hydraulics. At this stage it has no name, so suggestions are very welcome. I'm not good at that sort of thing!

The basic design is a double loop with a goods yard/loco sheds or something to that effect. Electrics are old school DC, with the two loops and siding area all wired individually, using DPDT switches to allow smooth switching between sections. The sidings will also each be separately isolated so that locos can be left static whilst another shunts. The size is 165cm by 90cm.

Without more ado, here are pics of progress so far.

First, the most recent track plan
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Baseboard assembly
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Mounting batten for the board, allowing it to be simply lifted off if needed.
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The baseboard in place
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The first loop of track laid, and part of the basic backscene in place
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With the whole backscene in place
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And an overall shot
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Last edited by guitardave_1 on Fri Jan 02, 2009 10:22 pm, edited 5 times in total.

Danny
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Postby Danny » Tue Jan 15, 2008 11:00 pm

Nice start there. I can see you have a good long run of track :wink:.

Danny.

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Chuffer Chuff
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Postby Chuffer Chuff » Wed Jan 16, 2008 3:59 pm

You have made a great start with the layout and I agree with Metheringham about the good length of track you've got!

Well done with the back scene aswell its looking great!

Look forward to more progress! :shock:
"You only get one chance in life, so make the most of it!"

guitardave_1
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Postby guitardave_1 » Wed Jan 16, 2008 8:11 pm

Thanks guys! A decent run of track was important, as I hope it will lessen the tail-chasing effect. I would like to run reasonable length trains - loco and 6 coaches maybe - so too small a loop wouldn't look the part.

The backscene is still only rested in place at the moment, so it can be lifted off for more track laying amongst other things.

I too am looking forward to more progress, but just for a change the budget doesn't match the enthusiasm. Still, I hope to get the inner loop of track purchased and laid down soon, and with the help of my birthday hopefully get something running before too long. The outer loop already has the feeds soldered in place, but no switches or controller to fit to yet!

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Chuffer Chuff
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Postby Chuffer Chuff » Wed Jan 16, 2008 8:14 pm

What sort of controller are you thinking of? Any ideas? :wink:
"You only get one chance in life, so make the most of it!"

guitardave_1
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Postby guitardave_1 » Wed Jan 16, 2008 8:23 pm

Chuffer Chuff wrote:What sort of controller are you thinking of? Any ideas? :wink:

I do as it happens! I'm after a panel mounted 4 track gaugemaster (is it a Q4 model?). I'm planning to slot it into the side of the baseboard, along with all the switches. Even with a couple of transformers it still works out cheaper and less bulky than the full cased ones.

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Chuffer Chuff
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Postby Chuffer Chuff » Wed Jan 16, 2008 9:10 pm

I have the cased four track Q gaugemaster controller and it was very expensive!

The panel mounted ones are quite a bit cheaper! :wink:

I think its the UQ model that you want!

Scroll don the page!

http://gaugemaster.co.uk/panels.html

Hope this helps!
"You only get one chance in life, so make the most of it!"

guitardave_1
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Postby guitardave_1 » Thu Jan 17, 2008 8:15 pm

Chuffer Chuff wrote:I have the cased four track Q gaugemaster controller and it was very expensive!

The panel mounted ones are quite a bit cheaper! :wink:

I think its the UQ model that you want!

Scroll don the page!

http://gaugemaster.co.uk/panels.html

Hope this helps!

Thanks! That's the one, but seems it's cheaper at The Signal Box, even compared to ordering a gaugemaster product from them direct!

Lofty

Postby Lofty » Thu Jan 17, 2008 8:28 pm

guitardave_1 wrote:[I'm after a panel mounted 4 track gaugemaster (is it a Q4 model?)

Why do you need a 4 track controller?

I can see two trains running on constant on the main tracks, and one shunting the sidings.

Unless I am missing something the 4th is redundant

Lofty

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Postby guitardave_1 » Fri Jan 18, 2008 8:29 pm

lofty wrote:
guitardave_1 wrote:[I'm after a panel mounted 4 track gaugemaster (is it a Q4 model?)

Why do you need a 4 track controller?

I can see two trains running on constant on the main tracks, and one shunting the sidings.

Unless I am missing something the 4th is redundant

Lofty

Correct, but everywhere I looked it would cost more to buy one double and one single than just to get the 4 track. The other option is the 3 way with simulation on one track, but I didn't understand that one!! Is there something else I've missed on my searches?

Lofty

Postby Lofty » Fri Jan 18, 2008 9:04 pm

I must admit that I had not realised that a ‘Four’ was cheaper than a ‘two and a one’.

A split system would be more flexible if you wanted more than one person to operate at any time, by having one at each end.

Lofty

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SouthernBoy
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Postby SouthernBoy » Fri Jan 18, 2008 11:50 pm

guitardave_1 wrote:
lofty wrote:
guitardave_1 wrote:[I'm after a panel mounted 4 track gaugemaster (is it a Q4 model?)

Why do you need a 4 track controller?

I can see two trains running on constant on the main tracks, and one shunting the sidings.

Unless I am missing something the 4th is redundant

Lofty

Correct, but everywhere I looked it would cost more to buy one double and one single than just to get the 4 track. The other option is the 3 way with simulation on one track, but I didn't understand that one!! Is there something else I've missed on my searches?


'Simulation' is brilliant: Basically it gives you more subtle control. It allows you to set the top running speed you want - then you gradually let off the brakes so that the train slowly gathers momentum at a realistic pace until it achieves the full running speed - then later you close down the throttle and the train loses momentum and coasts to a stop. It's great fun working out when you need to close down the throttle and / or start applying the brakes to stop at any given position because the decision varies according to the locomotive and weight of the train behind it - it brings an element of realistic driving skill into your operations.

My layout also has two running loops and a yard to shunt and I'd rather have a single and two track controller with simulation than any controller without simulation even if they do cost less ££. The more relealistic running is worth the cost to me. You can switch them to normal mode if you want - and I do this from time-to-time just to remind myself they are worth the extra investment :)

guitardave_1
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Postby guitardave_1 » Sat Jan 19, 2008 8:49 am

Lofty - I'm not sure I want someone else in control when they're out of my reach!! It would be a heck of a lot of extra wiring too, if one was at the opposite end, but still needed to use the switches on the main panel. Also, only one end is easily accessible where I currently have the layout located.

Southernboy - thanks for the explanation. It sounds tempting, especially as with the planned DPDT switches I could use the simulation track for whichever of the two loops I chose at a given time, plus there's a normal mode if I wanted it. It would certainly add another element to 'playing trains'. I wonder if it's too late to amend my birthday list!

guitardave_1
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Postby guitardave_1 » Sun Jan 27, 2008 4:55 pm

A small update on progress made over the last week. It's all wiring and soldering I'm afraid, so it doesn't make for particularly interesting viewing!!

I've fitted 3 DPDT switches and wired them all up ready for a controller. The feeds are also run and soldered onto the loop of track that's already laid. I don't know if everyone's wiring is this untidy, or if I've gone about things in the most efficient way, but either way I have tested it all for continuity and by some miracle it works as I wanted/expected it to.

At the moment it sits redundant, but it's stuff that had to be done before any proper running could commence. Here's hoping I get a controller and a loco for my upcoming birthday!

Three very dull switches - the main panel will sit just below
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And the wiring - pretty sure I know where all the ends have to end up!
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guitardave_1
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Postby guitardave_1 » Sun Feb 03, 2008 2:02 pm

Few hours work over the last week, and my first ever attempt at ballasting. I used the finest grade of Woodland Scenics ballast available, but the chips still look a little large for the scale. I don't think I could have worked with anything finer though - it would just be like dust!

I've also painted the rails, sleepers and ballast to make it all a bit more lifelike (I hope). I agonised over methods and colours, but a reference book I have shows track and ballast of every conceivable colour, so I figured I could hardly get it wrong! The sides of the rails are painted neat, but for the ballast and sleepers I thinned the paint down so it was more of a wash. This gave a patchier effect and retained the texture of the sleepers. I might try and find a more rust coloured paint to add to the sides of the rails though.

A couple of pictures of the progress.

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