Frankland: N gauge Southern Railway

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SouthernBoy
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Re: Frankland: N gauge Southern Railway

Postby SouthernBoy » Sun Mar 08, 2009 7:31 pm

Frankland update No. 7

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Hello and welcome to update number seven.

Since my last post I've completed around 70% of wiring, with just the junction at the back of the layout remaining to be done. Similarly, the control panel just requires wiring for the last junction.

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At some point I'll build a scenic section to drop over the control panel for when I just want to sit back and watch trains go round ... current thinking is that this section will contain a deco-style Lido. Something like this would be quite nice:

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I've tinned and soldered wires and connections throughout (which has taken quite some time, but probably worth the effort). Points are now wired for polarity. Here's one of them:

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I worked on the junctions as a whole rather than working on each point separately. This was because I found lifting and repositioning individual points was causing rail joiners to bend/become loose, plus I don't like having to keep wriggling track/points in and out of position more than necessary. Here's a junction dropping into place:

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I needed to take a break from wiring for a while so over the last week have started making the foundations for the scenic areas. For inspiration and to get a sense of scale I made a purchase :)

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Strictly speaking the coach is a little late for my period - but it has the right look and feel and I'm happy with that. I've also got the Southdown version on order :)

Last weekend I positioned the board which carries the hill up the centre of the layout and roughed out the route of the road. The board isn't fixed yet, I'll do that when the remaining junction is wired in. Anyway, here's an overview:

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You'll see bits of card which represent various buildings placed along the roadside.
Whilst I plan to scratch build many of the structures on the layout, some I will construct from kits. I can't wait to get started on these 30s semi-detached houses from Kestrel.

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And here's a view down the hill:

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At the bottom of the hill there's a road junction where the road diverges to the left and straight-ahead and disappear under the viaduct:

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These are not the buildings I will use - they're just to help set-the-scene.

Yesterday the final board at the bottom of the hill was put in place allowing the road to continue through under the viaduct to the far side of the layout:

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Today I've worked on the top of the hill where the road turns and crosses over the railway at the back.

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Again, buildings and blocks of wood are used to rough out the scale and position of structures.
I'm considering a couple more bridges here as scenic breaks for the roads (so the roads don't just 'drop off' the side of the layout or run into a blue backboard).

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I've been reading recently about the LBSCR AC electrics - and depending on space - may use these bridges and a short length of viaduct to model a stretch of overhead track and a train (static, not powered). I think a future layout will have to accommodate AC EMUs as well as third rail :)

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I've also been reading up on the history of railway developments in South London and it's got me quite intrigued: For example, Waterloo was originally planned as a through-station en-route to a terminus near London Bridge, and the LBSCR may have shared Waterloo with LSWR. Similarly, proposals were made for a terminus at Millbank (Westminster).

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Millbank Penetentiary, proposed site for Westminster Terminus

This got me thinking about various 'what if' scenarios and I have started drawing up a timeline of railway construction in South London. Later I'll draw up an alternative timeline to see how routes, stations and junctions could have turned out differently had some of those earlier proposals come to fruition... and somewhere in there perhaps we'll find Frankland. It would be nice to have a sort of history :)

Saving the best for last: On Friday my Membership of the 2mm Association finally arrived - which means I can now order the Code 40 for my third rail.

So that brings us up-to-date with the latest work, news and thoughts from the wonderful world of Frankland :)

Thanks

Mark

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Re: Frankland: N gauge Southern Railway

Postby mijmij » Sun Mar 08, 2009 10:13 pm

wow! - what an achievement and illustrated with such excellent photos. An inspiration if ever there was one.
hardly started never finish

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GROTLAND
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Re: Frankland: N gauge Southern Railway

Postby GROTLAND » Mon Mar 09, 2009 1:23 am

Nice update Mark. I can see the gently falling and curving main street working very well. It'll be really wide too, with lots of scope for all kinds of street details with none of that crammed in for the sake of it stuff. The road junction on the right will be great with the 2 bridges and the road continuing beyond to add to the depth.
Will the tram tracks be forking off under the other bridge? It would be amazing to have a triangle junction there.
You have to stop posting those 30's deco stuff. They make me want to build a run-down victorian seaside ghost town ....I don't know why :?

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Re: Frankland: N gauge Southern Railway

Postby mumbles » Mon Mar 09, 2009 1:35 am

Nice update Mark
Good to see things coming along.

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SouthernBoy
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Re: Frankland: N gauge Southern Railway

Postby SouthernBoy » Tue Mar 10, 2009 11:28 pm

Thanks for the feedback:

mijmij wrote:wow! - what an achievement and illustrated with such excellent photos...

I've always enjoyed photography, and last birthday treated myself to my first digital camera - so now I take pictures of absolutely everything :?
For each photograph a professional photographer publishes he takes dozens just to get that one decent shot, and I do likewise. That way there's always one that's at least half-decent :) But also I've always found photos on other peoples' threads of how they do things really helpful for my own work, so hope to reciprocate by posting photos of my progress.

GROTLAND wrote:Nice update Mark. I can see the gently falling and curving main street working very well. It'll be really wide too, with lots of scope for all kinds of street details with none of that crammed in for the sake of it stuff. The road junction on the right will be great with the 2 bridges and the road continuing beyond to add to the depth.
Will the tram tracks be forking off under the other bridge? It would be amazing to have a triangle junction there.
You have to stop posting those 30's deco stuff. They make me want to build a run-down victorian seaside ghost town ....I don't know why :?


South London = wide streets and pavements, it's a characteristic I aim to capture - so glad you can see that already :)
I hadn't thought about a junction - you've really got me thinking now. It conjures up in my mind pictures of Vauxhall:
(pictures credited to Collection of London Transport Museum)
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Ultimately I think I'll wait to see how things pan out before I decide how 'busy' or not I make that section of scenics as I want to keep a balanced flow from one end of the layout to the other for the sake of visual aesthetics ... but I am sorely tempted :)

You should find space for that Victorian seaside ghost town on your layout though ... it would be a great counterpoint to the urban distress you are so good at portraying :)

Thanks again

Mark

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Re: Frankland: N gauge Southern Railway

Postby Zunnan » Fri Mar 13, 2009 7:56 pm

I really can't wait to see the scenery taking shape. The laying out which you have illustrated so far is incredibly tantalising! The almost Art Deco design to the baseboards is really going to set off the location once the station buildings start to appear.

MORE! :D

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SouthernBoy
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Re: Frankland: N gauge Southern Railway

Postby SouthernBoy » Fri Mar 13, 2009 10:44 pm

Zunnan wrote: ... The almost Art Deco design to the baseboards is really going to set off the location once the station buildings start to appear...


You know - you're right about the shape of the baseboards and I'd never even noticed. Perhaps it's some subconscious thing going on :)
But now you've brought it to my attention the shape seems somehow reminiscent of the Southern 'Odeon' style signal boxes - which by happy coincidence are featured in the March issue of British Railway Modelling, complete with some scale drawings and a chronology.

I'm considering one for the layout, here's a couple of pictures which are under Creative Commons Licence and credited accordingly.

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©-Copyright-Mike-Quinn

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© Copyright Martyn Davies

Another item I'd definitely like to model is an electrical substation (but a rail-side version obviously):

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© Copyright Alan Murray-Rust

Does anyone have any links or suggestions to picture sources for railway substations? Although I must say I'm not certain whether this 'open' type of transformer even existed in the 30s. I've only seen pictures of enclosed transformers for that period ?? Anyone have any knowledge about this or can point me in a direction ?

(btw - if anyone is interested, I found the above pictures on http://www.geograph.org.uk - seems like a handy resource :) )

Thanks again

Mark

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Re: Frankland: N gauge Southern Railway

Postby mumbles » Sat Mar 14, 2009 12:06 am

SouthernBoy wrote:
Zunnan wrote:

Another item I'd definitely like to model is an electrical substation (but a rail-side version obviously):


Great minds think alike, not sure where you can get pics of 30s ones from though? I'll be using any pics i can find of ones still around on the assumption they have been there for a while anyway. Plus a healthy dose of modeller's license as to their location
Cheers
Michael

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Re: Frankland: N gauge Southern Railway

Postby SouthernBoy » Sun Mar 15, 2009 5:29 pm

Frankland update No. 8


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This weekend platforms happened. At least the start of platforms...

First job was to make a paper template. I cut some old paper roughly to shape.

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Next I used masking tape to fix a pencil on the corner of a carriage and draw a line along the paper. I did the same thing again with the pencil taped halfway along the carriage. This gave me a more precise template.

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I found two off-cuts of 9mm plywood which were about the right size, stuck the template on and drew round it - and started sawing.
The sawdust goes in a jar for future scenic use :)

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And now we have the basic shapes for platforms.

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The platforms look better with trains in them :)

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I've cut the platforms a little narrower than the templates so later I can face the sides with Plasticard to represent concrete platform sides.

I'd use the Peco concrete platform sections ~ only in my mind they're too high in relation to the side of a carriage.

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I think the platform should be lower than that. So I did a couple of tests with different thicknesses of Plasticard:

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I think something along these lines are better.
I'd scribe the Plasticard to represent the edging stones etc and add ramps.


Whilst the production line was rolling I made my other platforms :)

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Platform 1 as will be viewed from the top of the steps down to the platform.
The Odeon signal box I'm considering would go at the far-end of platform one.
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Platforms 2 & 3
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Platform 4
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Ah yes, the other area I played with was the cutting - I just wanted to get a feel for angles and sight-lines. If I have an electrical substation it will be somewhere along this cutting.

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So that's work this weekend. Next I need to fix the scenic panels more permanently and make the back boards :)


Comments and suggestions welcome.

Thanks

Mark

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Re: Frankland: N gauge Southern Railway

Postby Zunnan » Sun Mar 15, 2009 7:56 pm

I've found the same when using Peco platforms. The problem is, they're perfect for code 80, but becasue the rail is set deeper in code 55, the rail head is lower in relation to the edging. The only way around it is to raise the track up on 1-1.5mm cardboard through the station, which at your stage of construction shouldn't be too hard to retrofit. I think that for a Southern based layout the concrete platform edging is almost a pre-requisite for any station.

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Re: Frankland: N gauge Southern Railway

Postby sapper_k » Sun Mar 15, 2009 8:01 pm

the signal building you have pictured further up

i have a scale drawing of that in a model railway mag i bought this month
if its any good to you il scan it and post it up here

kye
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Re: Frankland: N gauge Southern Railway

Postby SouthernBoy » Sun Mar 15, 2009 11:05 pm

Hello Zunnan,
Thanks for the suggestion. Totally agree that concrete platform edging is a characteristic of Southern :)
But I'm also wary that the art-deco aspect could become too dominant on my layout - so to keep a balance the station at the front will have concrete platforms, the station at the back brick platforms. So as it's only three platform faces I'm thinking it's not too much work to make them myself, probably no more work than lifting the track and making a track bed :) - plus making them myself will mean I have concrete platform edges which aren't 'obviously Peco', if you know what I mean :shock:

Thanks for the offer Sapper_k, appreciated.
Luckily I have that same edition of BRM with the scale drawings :) I thought the article on making back-scenes on pages 62/63 was interesting - I may use the technique on Frankland :)

Thanks again

Mark

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SouthernBoy
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Re: Frankland: N gauge Southern Railway

Postby SouthernBoy » Sun Apr 12, 2009 8:35 pm

Frankland update No. 9

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Hello and welcome to update number nine.

Lot's of small, unconnected things going on at the moment:

First up - code 40 rail arrived. It's really small :shock: but it means I can continue to experiment with third rail :)

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I used the same technique as before (using cut-down isolating rail-joiners as insulators to hold the rail). Code 60 threads through the rail-joiners, but it has a tendency to 'spring' out. I'll probably have to glue the insulators to sleepers / glue the rail into the insulators. I think it looks better than my first experiment with code 80 rail.

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I started to play with ballasting around the tunnel end of the layout. The effect I'm looking to achieve is not the 'ballast shoulder', but a gentle, broad 'camber' of ballast which is level with the top of the sleepers.

To do this I stuck strips of card alongside the sleepers, then glued wider strips of sandpaper over the top.

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I painted the sandpaper the same light grey I used on the baseboard (I got a huge tin of the paint from my local handy store last year - which never seems to get empty :? ) I then used Woodland Scenics 'granite' coloured ballast around the sleepers.

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I've only finished ballasting the one small section of track pictured above. I mixed the same grey paint 50/50 with Railmatch Sleeper Grime to give me a base colour. At a later point I'll use darker washes and lighter dry-brushing to create more texture and variations in colour. I think it works well on the sides of the rails as well.

The remainder of the corner still needs ballasting along the tracks - but it's nice to have made a start on it :)

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Another job I've started work on is buildings: Surbiton and Clapham South. I've drawn up plans using pictures found on Google and aerial views.
To get an approximation of scale I took the height of an average door, and used the size of the door to scale everything else. It's not going to be 100% accurate - but near enough. Also, the buildings will be variations of the originals because for instance Frankland station will have fewer lines than Surbiton does - and Clapham South is massive - if I built the whole thing it would take up half the layout (or at least it seems like that) - so compromise and 'essence of' is the name of the game. I've drawn these to 2mm scale.

Clapham South

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Surbiton / Frankland Station.

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I made a mock-up of the station using foam board.

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And placed it in position :)

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One correction I need to make is the clock tower should be at the back of the building, not the front.

Finally: Location, Location, Location!

I mentioned previously that I was interested in 'alternative histories' - so I've done a bit of work on this (no claims to great historical accuracy here, just broad brush-strokes to paint a picture).

Here's the routes of railways in South London around the latter 1850s...

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Key points are:
The LBSCR (green lines) terminus at Battersea Wharf (Victoria Station not yet built).
Around this time LBSCR were negotiating with LSWR (brown lines) to share Waterloo station.
Waterloo was designed as a through station en-route to a planned terminus to the west of London Bridge.

Also at the time plans were afoot to build a terminus at Millbank - which may well have been shared by a number of companies.
I discovered an index to plans and other papers held by The National Archive which appear to indicate a line from Millbank to a station at Clapham Manor Street (just up the road from the current Clapham High Street Station), with extensions to Deptford and West Norwood. So the next picture is how the railways of South London may have turned out had these various plans come to fruition

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Millbank is built and shared by LBSCR and LSWR. Waterloo is just a through station. The two companies also share a terminus west of London Bridge (allowing a large LBSCR loop line via a connection to London Bridge. Vauxhall looks like it could be quite a busy junction. Clapham Junction would be less busy. Victoria Station never gets built.

For comparison - here are roughly how things did evolve in reality, circa 1922.

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One day I'll get copies of the records from The National Archive and map it all out properly, work out how the development of localities within London may have been different too. I think it would make quite an interesting project - and the basis for a future layout :)

So that's the update - comments and suggestions welcome.

Thanks

Mark
Last edited by SouthernBoy on Sun Jul 12, 2009 4:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Frankland: N gauge Southern Railway

Postby Clifton009 » Sun Apr 12, 2009 9:03 pm

This is coming together great Mark 8)

I like the foam board mock up of the station. A good idea and very nicely done.

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Re: Frankland: N gauge Southern Railway

Postby Infrontcat » Sun Apr 12, 2009 9:11 pm

Hi Mark

Great to see the plans for the stations. They are going to be excellent!!! I also quite like that corner building next to the bridge, so i hope you find a place for it. Looks perfect for a 'refit' as a typical Saaaaarrrf Laaaandon boozer....The Nag's Head perhaps? :D

It's interesting to hear about Battersea Wharf. I can remember when I lived in Streatham Hill in the early 1990s and crossed over the bridge you could still see the remnants of Battersea Wharf with the original 'Southern Railway' signs in full view. Sadly, the whole thing has been flattened and redeveloped and I never got round to taking any pictures :(

Cheers fella, I'm sure this layout will just continue to get better and better

Tim
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