Ballymena Railway Station And Line

Post your design ideas for any layout that you are planning to build in the future. Keep members up-to-date with your designs and future plans for your layout.
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carnehan
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Ballymena Railway Station And Line

Postby carnehan » Wed Jan 09, 2013 8:35 pm

Hello all, my first post!! I hope that I am not taking liberties in rambling on in the next lines but I wanted to try and convey my thoughts and aspirations in the world of model railways and hope to use this forum as a place for learning, help and to allow anyone interested to follow the progress of my dreams.

Having had an interest in model railways since childhood, now 37, I have given many years thought to the design and build of a model railway layout without ever getting beyond the point of imagination. This has now changed with the conversion, to an extent, of my attic space and the delivery at Christmas, by Santa, of a Flying Scotsman Hornby train set.

Now the imagination has moved on to planning and conception. I have spent the last fortnight reading alot of articles and forums online to refresh myself with the world of model making. I have been introduced to the wonderful Anyrail programme, albeit the demo version as I haven't yet justified to myself the £35 to purchase the full version.

My difficulty in designing a railway layout has always been what theme, era and more importanrly for me, how the track will look. I am restricted in many ways by the limitations of space. As said, I have given a light conversion of my attic space. Floors are down, lights and power sources are in place however it is not insulated or plumbed for heating. My attic is also a narrow area with steep rafters and I have concluded that my only realistic positioning of a layout is in the V uprights of these rafters. This does not make it ideal for access as every 15 inches has another rafter but unfortunately this is the hand I have been dealt. With this in mind I have a space either side of the attic in the V sections of approximately 15 feet by 2 feet to work. My theory is that I will construct two sides of the layout with connecting track at either end which will be hidden from general view. The baseboards will have to be made sectionally to allow for manouvering into place between the struts and also to remove at a later date should I ever move home or need access to the rear areas.

With dimensions roughly worked out it was time to think of track planning. For someone based in Northern Ireland I have always felt it was difficult to associate with many other model railway enthusiasts with the scope of rail networks on the UK mainland. I am happy to run any engine and rolling stock on a layout but I would like the layout itself to represent an area relavent to me and also allows for research and learning. With this in mind I decided to look at the history of the railway in my local town of Ballymena and have discovered it had a large network of standard and narrow gauge railways due to the multitude of linen factories that gave the town its growth during the industrial revolution.

Having gathered together old OS maps of the town I have been able to put together my first draft of one side of the layout (plan below). This is were you forumers all come in. As this is my first layout and I will appreciate all feedback I get on anything I have written so far and more importantly on the first draft of the plan.
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rsz_ballymena_railway_station_picture.JPG
Ballymena Railway Section 1 First Draft
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Ex-Pat
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Re: Ballymena Railway Station And Line

Postby Ex-Pat » Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:05 pm

Welcome to the Forum carnehan.

I always like to see a layout based on a prototype. I recall seeing remnants of the "High Level Line" from Larne when I was in Ballymena last year (no, it's now the year before last!) and can well envisage the multitude of sidings (Brewery, Linen Mill, Timber Yard and Saw Mill and Gas Company) there, although I wasn't aware of the narrow gauge railways that you mention.

I'm not au fait with Anyrail (or any other such software for that matter) - does it confine you to set track, or will you be using flexi track?
The plan as presented will provide interesting operation, and "flows" well, although the uniformity of the end curves suggests a fixed radius and therefore set track?
Not sure of the plan's scale but some of the sidings do appear rather short - however it's your layout! Keep it coming.

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NEvans
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Re: Ballymena Railway Station And Line

Postby NEvans » Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:28 pm

Hi, welcome aboard.

Great place for asking questions, none are ever stupid when you don't know the answer, and we're all learning. There's a lot of experience on here, all waiting to help.

I don't know the location, so I don't know how prototypical it is. Looks nice, couple of points (not literally), as suggested by Ex-Pat longer sidings will allow longer trains and more shunting. It's a trade off between prototypical and operational. Also not a runaround loop apart from between the two through lines. I would be tempted to try and include one to allow you to shunt while trains are still running on the through lines (can be very nice to just let trains run while your doing other things).

Good luck
First foray into N Gauge: SimpleTown 4'x2'

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carnehan
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Re: Ballymena Railway Station And Line

Postby carnehan » Fri Jan 11, 2013 3:42 pm

Thanks for the feedback NEvans and Ex-Pat. I should have said that this is just phase one of the plan with a full loop of the room being planned in the future. I figured it was easier to operate in baby steps and concentrate on this area first although I do plan to run double track the full length of the room whilst scenery is constructed on this section. My thoughts for the other side of the room are not finalised yet but I would like a rural scene of track running through it and am working on incorporating a viaduct as I always think they are visually pleasing.

With regards the sidings I see were you are both coming from. I feel that they are rather short but had been attempting to stick as closely as possible to reality. I think, however, that to allow for shunting whilst the mainlines are in use is a great idea and will go back and see if I can make some adjustments.

The track layout is primarily planned with set track as this is what I know although Anyrail does allow the use of flexi track. I'm just not that au fait with it and find it awkward at present to work with on the CAD programme. The only other limitation of the prototype programme is the maximum use of 50 pieces of track.

Thanks again guys. Will post an update when I sit down and have a fiddle with it.

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carnehan
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Re: Ballymena Railway Station And Line

Postby carnehan » Sun Jan 13, 2013 10:28 am

Having received some excellent feedback I have been back to the drawing board and tweeked the layout a bit, primarily in the sidings but also trying to incorporate mre flexi track. I am terrified of using it but everyone seems to think it is much more gratifying and easy to work with. I hope they are right. Any feedback will be greatly appreciated.
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Ballymena Railway Station 3.jpg
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Ex-Pat
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Re: Ballymena Railway Station And Line

Postby Ex-Pat » Mon Jan 14, 2013 12:20 am

carnehan wrote:also trying to incorporate mre flexi track. I am terrified of using it but everyone seems to think it is much more gratifying and easy to work with. I hope they are right.


I'm sure you won't regret going down this course - it really does open up alternatives, and should be more pleasing to the eye.

The siding lengths now look a lot better.

Nothing to be terrified about in using flexi track (Code 75 Finescale looks better than Code 100, and Electrofrog points give better operation than Insulfrogs) and you can always get detailed advice on the Forum.

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Bufferstop
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Re: Ballymena Railway Station And Line

Postby Bufferstop » Mon Jan 14, 2013 9:57 am

Have to agree with Ex-Pat, laying code 75 is a pleasure. The smaller rail section makes it more malleable than code 100. Now that Peco have introduced the 75/100 adapter rail you can still use code 100 Setrack for any "off scene" curves, about the only place that the fixed geometry scores. Adapting a track plan to Streamline makes a slight difference to the appearance, the running line centres are closed up closer to the scale width but you need to deliberately widen the spacing between running lines and loops or sidings (an extra 2 scale feet/8mm mimimum) as in the prototype. If you do use setrack on ninety degree curves you'll need to stagger the starting point to maintain a wider spacing between the running lines. If it's off scene it's no problem and avoids collisions between locos with front overhangs and long coaches cutting corners. If it's on scene you can usually find an excuse for the running lines to part company, a drainage culvert, girders of a "buried bridge" over services, safety space for a footway crossing, etc.
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NEvans
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Re: Ballymena Railway Station And Line

Postby NEvans » Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:42 pm

Bufferstop wrote: If you do use setrack on ninety degree curves you'll need to stagger the starting point to maintain a wider spacing between the running lines.


This is a valid point for tight curves, setrack is an easier option. Although for other track flexi is more natural and nicer to look at.

It sounds an expensive and time consuming exercise, but I know someone who used setrack around the points and sidings initially as easier to set up, using flexi track for flowing curves and siding lengths as they got better experienced.
First foray into N Gauge: SimpleTown 4'x2'

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carnehan
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Re: Ballymena Railway Station And Line

Postby carnehan » Fri Jan 18, 2013 3:53 pm

I have been having a mess about with this plan and have made a few changes. Any comments would be appreciated. I have replaced all Hornby track to the Peco 100 with flexi track in most places other than points. The one exception is the right hand side with the set track 45 degree corners. I have used these in order to give more space at the other end and as these corners are going to be hidden by shelving that can't be moved the viewer isn't going to see this.

My main question is -

Is the track layout too congested now?

If yes to the previous question can anyone make alternative suggestions?

I wasn't happy with the left hand corner having so much space so thought of adding in a small siding off another to make a feature of a mill with an additional siding for additional goods wagons.

The plan is beginning to fry my head now and I think I just need to get on with construction and stop worrying about the plan too much as I am sure change will occur in the building stage.

Thanks again for your time.
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Ballymena Railway Station 4.jpg
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Ex-Pat
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Re: Ballymena Railway Station And Line

Postby Ex-Pat » Fri Jan 18, 2013 6:15 pm

carnehan wrote:My main question is -

Is the track layout too congested now?



I don't think so, and in fact I think it looks better.

Improvements are still possible however. For instance you could use a double slip at the right hand end of the station and that would allow you a little more of a straight run before disappearing into the hidden set track curve. (Alternatively it would allow you to start off with a nice larger radius flexi curve before becoming a set track curve.)

Tempting though it may be, try not to be in too much of a rush to get things done. You acknowledge that things might have to change during construction, but believe you me it is better to limit such changes as far as possible by getting the planning as accurate and comprehensive as possible.

Best of luck!

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carnehan
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Re: Ballymena Railway Station And Line

Postby carnehan » Fri Jan 18, 2013 9:31 pm

Ex-pat

Great suggestion. Ihadn't considered the double slip but allows additional space at the right hand end as stated. Still can't get an angle I am happy with using the flexi track so have opted for the 22.5 degree set track cornering instead.
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Ballymena Railway Station 4.jpg
Ballymena Railway Station 4.jpg (47.98 KiB) Viewed 1912 times


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