Frankland: N gauge Southern Railway

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SouthernBoy
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Frankland: N gauge Southern Railway

Postby SouthernBoy » Sun Sep 07, 2008 7:41 pm

Welcome to Frankland
A new layout replacing the previous Frankland.

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I'm quite fascinated by the big suburbanisation of the 1920s and '30s:
The advent of shorter working hours, affordable mortgages and extensive public transport systems enabled workers to move from overcrowded dwellings in polluted cities to new housing developments in the countryside. Almost overnight sleepy villages and distant fields were transformed into bright new suburbs for the aspiring home-owner. The commuter was born and the Southern Railway invested heavily in electrification to provide fast and frequent services. By 1929 all suburban lines had been electrified and over the following years long-distance routes followed suit. This was the world's largest electric suburban network :-)

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The key features are:
South London suburbs, Southern Railway, 1920s/30s, with third rail.
Trains will be both steam hauled and EMU.
The station at the top has two sets of platforms separated by carriage sidings (like at Clapham Junction), but the station building will be similar to Wimbledon. The station at the bottom is inspired by Surbiton. This gives me three sets of platforms for trains to arrive at and depart from :-)

Other buildings will include two Northern Line tube stations, a 1920s Odeon-style cinema and 1920s/30s blocks of flats. Obviously there's quite an art-deco theme going on here ~ but there will also be plenty of buildings from earlier periods too, I just haven't yet decided which.

By the way, the baseboard is curved bottom left due to the shape of the room. Controls will be bottom right.
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Basics:
The layout measures 2,100mm x 1,100mm.
N gauge: Peco code 55 track and Electrofrog points.
There will be semaphore and light signaling (signals will change with point movements etc, nothing more elaborate than that).
Cab control using three controllers.
Platforms accommodate a five-coach train.
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Trackplan:
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Yellow = main lines (formally LSWR). Mainly express and semi-fast services.
Dark blue = secondary line (formally LBSCR). Mainly local services.
Pale blue = carriage sidings.
Red = platform for mail trains and terminating main line services.
Green = sidings.

I may put an extra set of points top right ~ I think without it the secondary line could well get quite congested :shock:
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Baseboard:
I'm using 'L-Girder' construction. I read that it's stronger yet lighter than traditional methods, and allows for cantilevering sections too, so thought I'd give it a go. If anyone's interested here's a couple of links: Link 1 Link 2

I've bought a set of casters for when I build the legs. Then I can easily move the layout to work on the back or sides ~ reaching over from the front for any length of time is a complete pain :-( It'll also make it easier to take photos from all angles to post :-)
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Here's what I've done this week ....
I had the track plan on the floor for a few days so I could check I was happy with the way it looked and happy with the amount of space it took up in the room.

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I put the track plan onto three sheets of 2' x 4' plywood (9mm).

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Next I trimmed the plan to just the track and station areas. I double checked details like positioning of point motors, radius on curves and clearances etc - especially on the right-hand side where the tracks run on a viaduct. I took a bit of time over all this because once I'd cut the the plywood it wouldn't be easy to correct mistakes!
btw - this is the first time I've used code 55 - I love the way the flexitrack bends to shape and stays there :-)

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Then a lot of sawing :)

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So I now have a trackbed. The next stage will be to construct the L-girders and cross-beams. I did a rough dry-run to get an idea of positioning for cross beams and marked them out on the girders.

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And finally - here are the casters for when I build the legs :-)

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Well that's it for now - any comments always welcome.


Mark
Last edited by SouthernBoy on Sun Sep 07, 2008 11:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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beerandpies
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Re: Frankland: N gauge Southern Railway

Postby beerandpies » Sun Sep 07, 2008 7:44 pm

A brilliant start. Your track plans are works of art in their own right!
cheers, Mark.
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Re: Frankland: N gauge Southern Railway

Postby guitardave_1 » Sun Sep 07, 2008 8:01 pm

Superb! I really look forward to keeping track of this one (no pun intended, at least until I realised I'd done it!)

It's great to see such a well planned and thought out layout. It makes me realise how much better organised my ideas could have been! The track plan showing all the scenic aspects etc is excellent too!

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mumbles
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Re: Frankland: N gauge Southern Railway

Postby mumbles » Sun Sep 07, 2008 8:35 pm

Hi Mark
Quality start there. I'm glad to see you up and running again. What do you plan on doing for electric stock? Is there going to be a workbench thread at some point?
Cheers
Michael

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SouthernBoy
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Re: Frankland: N gauge Southern Railway

Postby SouthernBoy » Sun Sep 07, 2008 10:56 pm

Thank you gentlemen - it's nice to be back in action again :)

beerandpies wrote:A brilliant start. Your track plans are works of art in their own right!

guitardave_1 wrote: ... It's great to see such a well planned and thought out layout ... The track plan showing all the scenic aspects etc is excellent too!


To be honest for some months I've been a position where I couldn't do any practical work at all, only plan, so I put my energies into designing and refining every aspect of the layout I could think of.

mumbles wrote: ... What do you plan on doing for electric stock? Is there going to be a workbench thread at some point?

Well there's nothing available RTR in N gauge, so it'll have to be kits. I've got a 4-LAV kit to start with. My plan is to get the baseboard, basic trackwork and wiring done, then I'll build the kit. Over time I'd like to work through building examples of most of the pre-war EMUs. Progress will of course be posted step-by-step :)

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SouthernBoy
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Re: Frankland: N gauge Southern Railway

Postby SouthernBoy » Sun Oct 05, 2008 9:18 pm

Frankland update No 1


Over the last few weeks I've been pulling the framework together: First picture shows the basic frame with risers added.
I've used 2x1" for the girders and uprights, and mostly 1x1" for the short horizontal sections which will support the plywood.
Leaning against the wall is the plywood surface painted and drilled

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By this morning I was ready to assemble the various parts into a final unit. Most of the wood is recycled from the previous layout.
At the front are two sets of legs for front and back. The legs have casters so I can easily move the layout to access the back and sides.

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Here is the frame assembled.

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This cantilevered section extends a couple of feet beyond the main frame, but I can lean on it quite firmly :)

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And now with the plywood fixed in position.

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Of course, the next thing I had to do was start to visualise how things are going to look :)
The hardboard strips are where the main road will be. On the right the road drops down a hill and passes under a viaduct carrying the railway.
On the left the road rises up a hill and turns right, crossing over the railway. There will be a station at the front (just left of where the house is) and another station at the back (where the trains are).

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The next two pictures show the viaduct and the road passing underneath.
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Finally, trains - well sort of: These are just old Graham Farish generic carriages - but with a bit of imagination I can pretend the long train at the back is a 6-PUL and the one at the front is a 2-WIM (or something similar) :)
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So baseboards done - next - tracklaying :) :)


Comments and suggestions always welcome.

Mark

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John Geeeee
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Re: Frankland: N gauge Southern Railway

Postby John Geeeee » Sun Oct 05, 2008 10:17 pm

I bet you are brilliant with jigsaw puzzles as well ain't ya! :lol: You have great vision to assemble open boards like that. I could never get the picture in my head so took the simple route of one big flat board :oops: What book is that track plan in, by the way?

Cheers
"Go on, just one more board, pleeeeeaaaase?"
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mumbles
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Re: Frankland: N gauge Southern Railway

Postby mumbles » Sun Oct 05, 2008 10:20 pm

Great start Mark
I'm loving the way you have built the frame and the trackbeds. I can imagine with you, some lovely first gen electric stock... oo isn't it, suit you sir!
I'm staying tuned
Michael

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SouthernBoy
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Re: Frankland: N gauge Southern Railway

Postby SouthernBoy » Mon Oct 06, 2008 12:15 am

John Geeeee wrote:I bet you are brilliant with jigsaw puzzles as well ain't ya! :lol: You have great vision to assemble open boards like that. I could never get the picture in my head so took the simple route of one big flat board :oops: What book is that track plan in, by the way?
Cheers


I'll tell you something John, a year back I couldn't have done it either - but this hobby is helping me to learn a lot of things I previously didn't think I could do :D

The track plan I found in a skip outside Frankland Town Hall :shock: But you can just Google it if you want.
Michael isn't the only one with a layout based on a prototype :D

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allesclar
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Re: Frankland: N gauge Southern Railway

Postby allesclar » Mon Oct 06, 2008 12:33 am

this is awesome mate, a pro at its best :)
My N gauge 90's Era layout - viewtopic.php?f=22&t=18182

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Dannyproc
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Re: Frankland: N gauge Southern Railway

Postby Dannyproc » Mon Oct 06, 2008 12:33 am

Wow you have really gone to town on this one with the planning.

the baseboard framework is interesting. It looks quite flimsy, but i take it that its pretty solid? I'm sure it would be flimsy if i built it sir!

I am quite envious of the plan, i would love to have spent the time planning mine. mine came (and is coming) together as i have gone one, which im not sure if its a good thing or a bad thing. but i know i could have used the space better.. and eliminated the cheesy tunnels at each end...

eager to see more, i could learn a lot from this thread man!
Dan Lancaster

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mumbles
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Re: Frankland: N gauge Southern Railway

Postby mumbles » Mon Oct 06, 2008 4:02 pm

Genius, pure genius, I love the google earth image.. well done, bet you can show it in bird's eye view though!!

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GROTLAND
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Re: Frankland: N gauge Southern Railway

Postby GROTLAND » Mon Oct 06, 2008 10:48 pm

Great to have you back and building! I can see why it's taken some time in planning....to achieve perfection.
Firstly the whole style of the thing from the plans is impressive. Then the quality of baseboard construction is just so precise and..well, a pleasure to watch evolve.
Nice to see the gas works back, lurking behind the viaduct. The main thing I'll be looking forward to will be the architecture, especially the station buildings, knowing your preferences. But the whole raised line between the 2 stations will have loads of potential for depth, dirt and intrigue.
You got style.

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SouthernBoy
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Re: Frankland: N gauge Southern Railway

Postby SouthernBoy » Wed Oct 08, 2008 12:14 am

Dannyproc wrote: ... the baseboard framework is interesting. It looks quite flimsy, but i take it that its pretty solid? ...


It's pretty solid Danny: Once the plywood is screwed into place it sort of sandwiches the structure above the girders into a locked mass. The legs do wobble about a cm widthways, but I'll fix that with a couple of extra cross beams just below the girders. The cantilevered section will take all the pressure I can put on it without up-ending the structure - so all-in-all it's pretty robust.

The nice thing about using L-girder construction is that the fundamentals are really quite basic, no fancy carpentry required - just screw one bit into another. It's easily adjustable as you go, and you can have cantilevered / dropped / raised sections with little fuss. The only thing I'm not convinced about is that it uses less wood than conventional methods ... but we can't have everything :)

If I ever move I can just unscrew the legs and the top section can be detached and will be easily transportable (1.1m x 2.1m x 10cm) :)
And did I mention the wheels so I can move the layout around to work on it from any angle :D did I mention that :D

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SouthernBoy
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Re: Frankland: N gauge Southern Railway

Postby SouthernBoy » Sun Oct 12, 2008 7:50 pm

Frankland update No 2

Well I've done quite a bit this weekend.
First thing was to complete the baseboards by fixing an extra pair of cross-beams to the legs. That done - and now I'm now onto track laying :)

So out of the cupboard came lots of nice new lengths of track and a dozen points.

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I started off by roughly placing the set of points at the west end of Frankland station to see how things would fit together

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But then decided I'd done enough 'serious' work recently and it was time for some fun, so I wired a few things together :)

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Which powered a test circuit ...

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And trains started happening :) :)


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So continuing with the theme of Sunday fun - I decided to catalogue of my stock:


Locomotives:
1 x West Country, 2 x 4MT (although one doesn't work),
1 x Q1 (my favourite by far - a beauty both in looks, feel and traction), 2 x M7.
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Passenger coaches:
1 x Pullman diner and 1 x Pullman brake
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3 x Pairs of corridor carriages
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2 x pairs of suburban carriages
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Goods:
2 x coal wagons 'Ward', 2 x coal wagons 'Salter', 1 x Tank wagon, 1 x utility van
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In part there was a more academic element to the catalogue - which is that Southern Railway had their carriages in numbered sets - so I want to start thinking about how I apply that to my stock, and see what I need to look out for on eBay :)


So that was my weekend of pleasant distraction. My timetable is to next get on with laying track, wiring and testing.
After that I plan to build my first EMU. Here's a taster of what's to come:


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Comments and suggestions welcome


Mark
Last edited by SouthernBoy on Sun Oct 12, 2008 9:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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