Frontington & Backwoods Railway

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Lysander
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Re: Frontington & Backwoods Railway

Postby Lysander » Tue Apr 30, 2019 4:15 pm

When I was a chid it was advertised as being compatible with Hornby Dublo, and that was before Meccano took it over. It is perhaps just a little large though.

Tony
Men with false teeth may yet speak the truth.......

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minipix
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Re: Frontington & Backwoods Railway

Postby minipix » Sun May 05, 2019 10:37 pm

I've been pondering signals just recently. As you can read in my other post (viewtopic.php?f=6&t=54243), I found the Hornby signals just too big, so I made my own using card, staples, a hole punch, felt tip pens and wooden kebab skewers. They make quite a cute family, all lined up together!

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For posterity, here is a diagram of roughly where all the signals are going to go. I've had to forego the distance signals of course, but otherwise it looks like it should work pretty well with each signal box being in control of its own signals and points, if you imagine the layout split top to bottom. The eagle-eyed among you may notice that the home signals at either end of the Frontington section have shunting signals as well - that's to indicate whether the incoming train is diverting off to the siding area rather than the 'fast' line of the platform. I think technically this was more frequently indicated with a smaller semaphore signal, but I understand it was sometimes done with ground signals too. Rule #1: it's my railway and I'll do what I want.

Frontington signals.jpg


Speaking of signal boxes, I said "both". Actually I only had one before, looking after Frontington Station. But with these signals planned (and mostly made) it became clear that I would actually need a second signal box at Backwoods Station. As luck would have it, I had actually started making a signal box some time ago out of card, and it's been sat unfinished on a shelf collecting dust. So this weekend I finished it off, and apart from some dodgy window pane drawing (because I foolishly mounted the glass before marking the white lines), I think it looks pretty good. Sadly you can't see the wonderful staircase once its on the layout, because it's round the back - I had originally designed it as a replacement for the Frontington signal box, but it felt too small, but for Backwoods it's ideal.

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Frontington & Backwoods Railway: https://www.matthewdawkins.co.uk/catego ... way-build/
LocoSound - sound effects for DC model railways: https://mafu-d.github.io/loco-sound

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minipix
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Re: Frontington & Backwoods Railway

Postby minipix » Sun May 05, 2019 10:44 pm

Here are a couple more photos of the signals in situ.

First, here is my J94 waiting at Frontington Station. You can see the newly installed starting signal at stop (these are moveable by hand).

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And here's a view towards the other end of Frontington Station, as the J94 passes the home signal (you can just make out the rear of the signal against the houses in the background) and approaches the level crossing next to the signal box and the beginning of the platform. In the blurry foreground you can just make out a double ground signal and in the mid-distance another single ground signal.

IMG_20190504_203845562.jpg
Frontington & Backwoods Railway: https://www.matthewdawkins.co.uk/catego ... way-build/
LocoSound - sound effects for DC model railways: https://mafu-d.github.io/loco-sound

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Mountain
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Location: Somewhere in Wales, UK.

Re: Frontington & Backwoods Railway

Postby Mountain » Mon May 06, 2019 12:15 am

Very nice. Signalling is much easier if one has a simple track plan to begin with. My last 00 gauge layout was so complicated and such a tight squeeze I started to look at signals and found I didn't have the space let alone trying to work out where to put the signals to match the track plan. If I had not been so adventurous I would have managed it. :D

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minipix
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Re: Frontington & Backwoods Railway

Postby minipix » Tue Jul 02, 2019 11:36 am

Today I was having a play around with my rolling stock. In particular, I was trying to take apart a Hornby track cleaning coach, so that I could remove the body and have it as a flat bed truck of some sort with a weight pushing down on the cleaning pads. Unfortunately I couldn't get the thing apart. But that did lead on to playing with some other old wagons I had lying around not being useful. One was a somewhat garish bright green open topped truck, which didn't really sit well with the aesthetics of the layout, so I removed the top part and made it into a short wheelbase flat bed lumber wagon. I forgot to get a photo of it, but perhaps I'll put a picture up shortly.

The other started life as one of those Hornby 4-wheeled coaches, which are really too short to be prototypical for anything. So I removed the coach body (and made that into a static office), which left another flat-bed wagon. In absence of anything purposeful to put on it, I ended up plonking an old loco on it, as if it were a non-mover being transported somewhere. Not sure if that's at all prototypical of how locos were moved around? Looks a little too big for the wagon really. I might see if I can find something more suitable to put on it later.
Attachments
IMG_20190702_092007373.jpg
IMG_20190702_091937148.jpg
Frontington & Backwoods Railway: https://www.matthewdawkins.co.uk/catego ... way-build/
LocoSound - sound effects for DC model railways: https://mafu-d.github.io/loco-sound

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joshv8
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Location: QLD, Australia.

Re: Frontington & Backwoods Railway

Postby joshv8 » Tue Jul 02, 2019 1:06 pm

Love that second photo showing the siding and both engines. I did something similar years ago with 4 wheel coach chassis. Made a couple of logging flat beds, from memory used patina jewlery chain to strap the logs on. Looked pretty good if not prototypical but gave me something different to run.

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minipix
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Re: Frontington & Backwoods Railway

Postby minipix » Sun Jul 14, 2019 9:34 am

Here is that wagon I modified. It used to be an old Hornby wagon like the one next to it, but I took the body off (but kept the weight). And you know those annoying bits of wire you find wound around electrical appliance cables? That's what I used to make the side supports, threaded through appropriate holes in the chassis. Does the job! The wood is just lengths of garden twig, glued in place to make sure it doesn't come off round the corners!
Attachments
IMG_20190710_181828825-01.jpeg
IMG_20190710_181737471-02.jpeg
Frontington & Backwoods Railway: https://www.matthewdawkins.co.uk/catego ... way-build/
LocoSound - sound effects for DC model railways: https://mafu-d.github.io/loco-sound

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minipix
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Re: Frontington & Backwoods Railway

Postby minipix » Sun Jul 14, 2019 9:43 am

I've also been doing a lot of gardening recently. I got a Noch garden kit for Christmas that I've been slowly piecing together - it's really fiddly! Still, the pumpkins have come out especially well, I think, and the cauliflowers are really cute.

I also scratch built a greenhouse using some offcuts of acetate, held together with some strips of plasticard I had lying around. On reflection, the strips on the roof should have been a little longer - I tried to hide them with a bit of silver pen, but the plasticard was black and it still shows through in places. Looks ok from a distance though, particularly once it's filled with cucumber plants.

Fences have also been added between some of the gardens, although that is still a work in progress. I need to add a few more sections, and I need to go over the edges with a felt tip pen to hide the white. But it's coming together, slowly!
Attachments
IMG_20190713_223946694-01.jpeg
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Frontington & Backwoods Railway: https://www.matthewdawkins.co.uk/catego ... way-build/
LocoSound - sound effects for DC model railways: https://mafu-d.github.io/loco-sound

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minipix
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Re: Frontington & Backwoods Railway

Postby minipix » Thu Jul 25, 2019 12:53 pm

Last night I was fencing. No, not with a sword.

I had previously bought a fence kit that I thought would look good on my layout, but it was a little disappointing when it arrived. It was just a load of black plastic posts and a roll of plastic fishing wire. The posts are ok once painted, but the instructions said that the wire had to be glued to the posts - how on earth was that ever going to happen?!

After a couple of failed attempts, I gave up with the idea of fitting the wire, and decided to go for thin planks of wood instead. I got an offcut of black plasticard and cut some thin strips (by hand, so it was a little uneven), and glued them to the posts. Still fiddly, but far less so than wire. With some intentional haphazardness and broken bars, a lick of paint, and some foliage, they turned out pretty well!
Attachments
IMG_20190724_210159378_2.jpg
IMG_20190724_210211776_BURST000_COVER_TOP.jpg
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Frontington & Backwoods Railway: https://www.matthewdawkins.co.uk/catego ... way-build/
LocoSound - sound effects for DC model railways: https://mafu-d.github.io/loco-sound

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joshv8
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Location: QLD, Australia.

Re: Frontington & Backwoods Railway

Postby joshv8 » Thu Jul 25, 2019 9:58 pm

I think you did quite well with the fences! There's makes out there that have posts and wire you feed through little holes in the post. I was able to make my own. Unfortunate the ones you bought were not up to standard, still you man lemonade from lemons :D

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minipix
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Re: Frontington & Backwoods Railway

Postby minipix » Sat Jul 27, 2019 12:15 pm

Just recently I've been looking into DCC++. It's a DCC controller you can build using an Arduino and a Raspberry Pi, and it's super cheap. As a professional developer, the thought of being able to 'program' my railway is very tempting, but until now I've always thought DCC was out of my budget, but DCC++ means I could get up and running for about £30, which is pretty awesome.

At least, I thought it was at first. Turns out there would be a lot more work involved than just buying the controller. I'd have to convert my locos to DCC, or replace them with locos that already have DCC fitted. I'd have to modify my track wiring (which is currently DC with cab control), adding more droppers and adding insulated rail joiners to the points. In fact most of the track is pretty old (20 years + in some cases), so isn't exactly up to modern standards, so I might need to replace some sections to improve reliability. On that note, since I've got a slight hill at the back, the track isn't particularly smooth, so I'd worry about locos losing power at various points, and I'd probably need to add 'stay alive' capacitors to my locos as well. And since my layout uses exclusively first radius curves, that limits what locos I can actually run, so at the moment I'm using small tank engines that don't actually have much room for all this stuff.

As tempting as it sounded initially, there's actually a lot of work involved in converting my layout from DC to DCC. On reflection, I think the solution would be to wait until I can afford to build a brand new layout, where I can start from scratch with DCC in mind. I've already got various track plan ideas, just no budget! Ah well, dream on...
Frontington & Backwoods Railway: https://www.matthewdawkins.co.uk/catego ... way-build/
LocoSound - sound effects for DC model railways: https://mafu-d.github.io/loco-sound

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Halsted
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Re: Frontington & Backwoods Railway

Postby Halsted » Sat Jul 27, 2019 2:02 pm

Congrats. A wonderful layout.
minipix wrote:I've already got various track plan ideas, just no budget! Ah well, dream on...
Welcome to the club. :D

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glencairn
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Location: Both sides of the Border

Re: Frontington & Backwoods Railway

Postby glencairn » Thu Aug 01, 2019 1:50 pm

A lovely layout with a number of deft touches. Well done.

Glencairn
To the world you are someone. To someone you are their world.

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glencairn
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Re: Frontington & Backwoods Railway

Postby glencairn » Thu Aug 01, 2019 1:50 pm

Double post

Glencairn
To the world you are someone. To someone you are their world.

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minipix
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Re: Frontington & Backwoods Railway

Postby minipix » Mon Sep 02, 2019 1:09 pm

If you've been following the progress of this layout from the start, you'll know that much of the track and rolling stock originally came from an old layout, dating back a good 20 years. The two locos I've currently got starring on the layout (Hornby Terrier 0-6-0 and Hornby J94 0-6-0, both in BR black) are more recent purchases, but there are a handful of others tucked away that rarely see the light of day.

* Hornby "Smokey Joe" 0-4-0. I've repainted this one, and it's on the layout as a permanent fixed item, as if it's being restored in the yard.
* Replica Railways 57xx 0-6-0. Somewhat tired split chassis doesn't measure up to today's quality, and it derails itself on my tight corners.
* Lima Class 121 in green. Works, but a little noisy and missing traction tires.
* Replica Railways Black 5 2-6-0. Plastic wheel inners have warped, so this one is currently a non-runner. Doesn't like my corners anyway.
* Hornby Intercity 125. My very first train set! Amazingly still works perfectly, and even goes round my radius 1 corners.
* Hornby "Powergen" 0-4-0. Bright blue, and surplus to requirements, so currently for sale.
* Lima Class 08 BR Blue. It's sooo bright! Definitely not the right look for my layout, so also currently for sale.

Some of these I'll be hanging on to for sentimental value. Others are broken and wouldn't sell even if I wanted to.

However, my layout was always intended to be set somewhere in the GWR network, albeit a fictional back alley, but so far I haven't had any GWR locos running on it. The 57xx would have been lovely, but despite several attempts I've never been able to get it running reliably. So today, after some saving up, I ordered a Bachmann 45xx 2-6-2 Small Prairie, which will really look the part! I'm looking forward to getting that in the post, and I'll definitely post some photos once it arrives.
Frontington & Backwoods Railway: https://www.matthewdawkins.co.uk/catego ... way-build/
LocoSound - sound effects for DC model railways: https://mafu-d.github.io/loco-sound


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